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Welcome to the end of 2018, when the excitement of New Books in 2019 begins in earnest, because publishing is already laser focused on March and beyond. Ah, publishing. Stay wild, you scamp.

In honor of the Season of Looking Forward to New Books, here's a collection of anticipated books from some excellent and talented readers as we leave 2018 behind (finally it will end...in six years, 2018 time).


A People's Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle & John Joseph Adams (February, One World) — I’m so excited for hopeful political speculative fiction, for envisioning futures shaped by ideals like equality, justice and joy. This kind of fiction feels so necessary right now. Also, have you seen the LINEUP for this anthology?? *fans self*

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie (February, Orbit Books) — I absolutely loved Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch novels, in part because of her attention to cultural and social worldbuilding. I can’t wait to get immersed into a new world of hers and I was very intrigued to hear that this book is (mostly? entirely?) written in the second person.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (August, Saga Press) — Four veteran astronauts, six highly trained teens and a twenty-three year mission aboard just one spaceship—what could go wrong? I love early space exploration and generation ship narratives, but I’ve never read anything that explores an in-between scenario like this one and I can’t wait to rectify that.

When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey (2019, Simon Pulse) — Another Sarah Gailey book out in 2019, this one is about high-school girls, a magical accident and a dead boy on prom night. I’ve been reading & watching lots of stories about witches recently and I cannot get enough! I loved Sarah Gailey’s American Hippo novellas (fun, violent, immersive alt history), so i’m very excited to see what they do with teenage witches!

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone & Amal El-Mohtar (2019, Saga Press) — There’s a time war, rival agents, a secret correspondence, a doomed love story and did I mention THE TIME WAR? This looks like it’s got so many of my favourite tropes woven together AND it’s written by these two? I am so, so hyped for this. I want it right now!


Star Wars: Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray (April, Del Rey) — Claudia Gray is one of the best additions to the regular Star Wars authors and I clutched my face when this was announced. Obi-Wan is one of my favorite characters & this era has been unexplored so far in the new canon.

The Afterward by EK Johnston (February, Dutton) — This book, based on what I’ve heard, ticks off so many boxes for me. Awesome ladies? Check. Queer ladies? Check. Exploration of quests in fantasy settings & their impact? Check. I need this book in my eyeballs stat.

A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole (April, Avon) — I started reading more romance during this past year and I’ve fallen in love with the Reluctant Royals series. I’m excited to see Nay's happy ever after plus it has one of my all time favorite tropes (FAKE DATING!!).

Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott (2019, Tor) — We don’t have a firm release date on this yet, but I’m hopeful that this will be in my life next year. Kate Elliott is one of my all time favorite authors and this book’s pitch (genderbent Alexander the Great in space!) sounds amazing.


Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee (January, Rick Riordan Presents) — It feels like I’ve been waiting for this book forever! This middle grade book is the story of Min, a young fox spirit, who goes on a space adventure! Lee has written some great fox spirit inspired stories it the past and I really what to see what he does when writing for a for younger audience. Plus space adventures!

Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis (February, Five Fathoms Press) — I can’t wait for the next installment of The Harwood Spellbook. I adored Snowspelled, the first novella in this series. It was just the perfect cosy read. Spellswept, the prequel, is also great. But I’m really looking forward to this next one and finding out about Cassandra and family’s further adventures.

Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (March, Greenwillow) — I can’t believe The Queen’s Thief series is finally ending! I've been a fan of this series since I was kid and got the first book out of the library. I love the twisty political and social maneuvering in these books, the world building and how it includes religion and economics so well, and most of all the characters.

Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley (February, First Second) — This isn’t SFF at all, but I’m very excited about Lucy Knisley’s next graphic memoir which will be about pregnancy and childbirth. I’ve loved Knisley’s past graphic memoirs. They make her daily life feel interesting and exciting, but are also cute. Some of them even contain recipes! The way that we rarely see stories about mothers has become something I’m very concerned about so I’m especially looking forward to seeing one of my favorite cartoonists taking on these topics.

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders (February, Tor) — I love the warmth and wackiness of Anders’s fiction so I’m excited for this book even though I don’t know much about it besides that she wrote it. The setting sounds really cool, though! It features a tidally locked planet where one half is always day and the other half is always night.


We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia (February, Katherine Tegen) — God, I’m so in the tank for boarding school books. We Set the Dark on Fire is about a boarding school for privileged wives-in-training in a dystopian society. The main character gets recruited to be a spy. I have gotten a little burned-out on dystopian YA in recent years, but this one’s got boarding school! And spies! Come on.

A People’s Future of the United States edited by Victor Lavalle and John Joseph Adams (February, One World) — A People’s Future of the United States is an SF anthology featuring a buttload of my faves, from NK Jemisin to Gabby Rivera. These are going to be badass stories of resistance and hope, stories that challenge the harmful, oppressive myths that control so many narratives in this current political moment. I need this book. My heart needs it.

The True Queen by Zen Cho (March, Ace) — Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown was the postcolonial alt-history-with-magic novel I had been craving. I am still overcome with emotion when I think about the climax of that book. The True Queen is set in the same world, and it follows a girl who must save her sister by enrolling in an English academy for magic. I’m not sure what the mechanics of this are, but as you may have guessed from my extreme enthusiasm for boarding schools (above), I also don’t care. I cannot wait to clasp this book to my bosom.

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi (March, Riverhead) — Admittedly Helen Oyeyemi’s last novel culminated in a transphobic trash fire and I am no longer quite the full-throated hype man for her that I once was. BUT, Gingerbread looks like it’s going to play to her strengths. It’s about a mother and daughter who live in a house that may or may not be partly in a magical world. They also make gingerbread. Helen Oyeyemi’s prose is extravagantly gorgeous and her novels are extravagantly weird, and I’m excited.

Finder by Suzanne Palmer (April, DAW) — Palmer’s “The Secret Life of Bots" is one of a few short stories last year that made me want to read short fiction--a project that I’ve massively enjoyed this year. Finder sounds like the most glorious space heist with grudging respect, and I can’t wait to get into it.


Jade War by Fonda Lee (May, Orbit) — Jade City was pretty much my favorite book of 2017, so there is no question that the second book in the Green Bone Saga trilogy would be my most anticipated title of 2019. I cannot wait to read about the further trials and machinations of the Kaul family.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (March, Henry Holt) — I picked up Children of Blood and Bone without realizing it was the start of a series, devoured it, and was left with a desperate need to know what came next. And now I will finally get to find out.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes (June, Ballantine) — Although not SFF as far as I know, I couldn't leave the debut novel of one of my favorite pop culture commentators off this list. Holmes is the host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and writes reviews and other articles for the NPR website, and was also one of the best recappers on Television Without Pity back in the day. The fact that this is a story about love, loss, and baseball is just a bonus.

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie (February, Orbit) — I've very much enjoyed all of Ann Leckie's SF novels, so I'm super excited to see her turn her hand to fantasy. And the book is getting advance buzz from people I trust, so when it comes out, I am so there.


The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco (March, Sourcebooks Fire) — I loved The Bone Witch, so I gobbled up The Heart Forger this year, which was even better. This series by Rin Chupeco is absolutely one of the best YA epic fantasies I've read recently, on par for me with Kate Elliott's Court of Fives and Megan Whalen Turner's Thief series. It's dense, the cast is large and diverse, and women have tons of power but are also still learning and growing! I love it so.

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (March, Tor) — Earlier this year or late 2017, an author on Twitter mentioned reading an early copy of this book and said it was amazing. Of course, I immediately wanted it but it wasn't out yet. BUT WE'RE CLOSE NOW. This sounds like amazing, expansive space opera and I can't wait to jam it into my eyeballs.

Defy the Fates by Claudia Gray (April, Little Brown) — The next book in this series I love featuring SPACE and ADVANCED ROBOTS against a backdrop of war, disease, and rich people getting so greedy I want to launch them into the sun. I thought I might like the series, but it turns out I actually LOVE IT because I love Abel and Noemi. The last book ended on a wicked cliffhanger and I'm in FITS over it because I need to know what happens beyond the hints the third book blurb gave.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (May, Berkley) — After being endlessly charmed by The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang shot to the top of my "read as soon as the book drops" list. Hoang puts her own perspective onto characters and gives them this quality depth that I love in romance novels, especially, because they're so driven by character. And because the perspective she's writing from isn't white and neuro-typical, the dynamics are cool and fascinating to read. Can't wait!

Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden (August, Harper Voyager) — Prey of Gods was B A N A N A S and still one of the SFF novels I think about even now, months later, because it was doing so many fascinating things with the mixing of fantasy and science fiction. Truly, we are blessed by afrofuturism. Now she's hoping over to write about spaceships! But I'm intrigued to see how she's going to spin it, because the blurb sounds like we're heading for B A N A N A S territory again in the best way.


Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis (February, Five Fathoms Press) — I read Snowspelled, the first book in this series, and it was very much my thing. There was romance, there was mutual pining, there was a prickly heroine who was good at her job... And I am really looking forward to the sequel, Thornbound, where we get to find out WHAT HAPPENS NEXT with her family and her grand plans!

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey (June, Tor) — It has a private investigator in a fantasy world who also happens to have a complicated relationship with her sister, and I don't know what else I need to tell you.The is pretty much working its way down a ticklist of my interests and I am here for it.

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley (March, Saga) — I really enjoyed the original short story (it's probably my favorite of the ones I've read by her), so I'm both confused and intrigued by the idea of it becoming a whole book, especially if it can keep the same tone and rhythm as the short story!

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (August, Del Rey) — I was pretty much sold based on the idea of "woman helps the Mayan god of death in Jazz Age Mexico City," so I am ready to be blown away here.

Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee (June, Solaris) — I am incredibly hyped for this. It's a short story collection set in the same world as Ninefox Gambit! The announcement for this only came out in the last few weeks, but it still feels like I've waited for it forever.

Date: 2018-11-19 07:44 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Air Logic by Laurie J Marks (Small Beer, June)

Date: 2018-11-19 08:20 pm (UTC)
badgerbag: (Default)
From: [personal profile] badgerbag
Thank you! I just went on a ridiculous pre-ordering binge! Future me will be so happy and surprised.

Date: 2018-11-25 01:51 am (UTC)
bibliofile: Fan & papers in a stack (from my own photo) (Default)
From: [personal profile] bibliofile
Such good lists! [suggests many to the local library system]

Love these books!

Date: 2018-11-26 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theillustratedpage.wordpress.com
I am excited about pretty much all the SFF books on this list! Also, did you know We Set the Dark on Fire has a queer protagonist? Also, if I remember right, it's about immigration issues too.

I'm going to make my own list in a month or so, but here are a few 2019 titles I'm excited about:

- David Mogo, Gudhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa -- the synopsis describes it as "Nigerian God-Punk" which sounds so cool

- New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color -- the author line up here is INTENSE. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Karin Lowachee, E. Lily Yu, Andrea Hairston, Tobias Buckell, Rebecca Roanhorse, Indrapramit Das, and Darcie Little Badger? Sign me up!

- Vagabond by Hao Jingfang -- I really loved her Hugo-award-winning novella, "Folding Bejing," so I'm here for this English translation of one of her novels

- The Twisted Ones by T.Kingfisher -- A NEW BOOK BY URSULA VERNON!!! All the excitement.

- Atlas Alone by Emma Newman -- I looooove Emma Newman's Planetfall books, which are consistently twisty and always deal with mental health issues.

- Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang -- Ted Chiang's short stories are amazing (the movie Arrival was based off of one), and I'm thrilled to be getting a new collection.


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