The upcoming year holds a lot of promise for SFF fans. Here are 15 of the most talked about books scheduled to be released in 2019. Truly, they all sound amazing. Do be aware, some of these are mid-series, but they’re so remarkably acclaimed, there’s a good chance you’ll fall in love with them. So make some room on that to-be-read list because there’s sure to be a few that catch your eye!
by Alastair Reynolds
Release date: January 15, 2019
Sequel to Ranger…
“Adrana and Fura Ness have finally been reunited, but both have changed beyond recognition. Once desperate for adventure, Now Adrana is haunted by her enslavement on the feared pirate Bosa Sennen’s ship. And rumors of Bosa Sennen’s hidden cache of treasure have ensnared her sister, Fura, into single-minded obsession.
Neither is safe; because the galaxy wants Bosa Sennen dead and they don’t care if she’s already been killed. They’ll happily take whoever is flying her ship.
Shadow Captain is a desperate story of cursed ships, vengeful corporations, and alien artifacts, of daring escaped and wealth beyond imagining… and of betrayal.”
Kingdom of Copper
by S.A. Chakaborty
Release date: January 22, 2019
Book 2 in the Daevabad trilogy, after City of Brass.
“Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad—and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.
Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family—and one misstep will doom her tribe..
Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid—the unpredictable water spirits—have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.
And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.”
Black Leopard Red Wolf
by Marlon James
Release date: February 5, 2019
Marlon James won the Man-Booker prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. This one is the first in the Dark Star Trilogy.
“Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.
As Tracker follows the boy’s scent–from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers–he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?
Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a novel unlike anything that’s come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that’s also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both.”
by Elizabeth Bear
Release date: March 5, 2019
“Halmey Dz and her partner Connla Kurucz are salvage operators, living just on the inside of the law… usually. Theirs is the perilous and marginal existence – with barely enough chance of striking it fantastically big – just once – to keep them coming back for more. They pilot their tiny ship into the scars left by unsuccessful White Transitions, searching for the relics of lost human and alien vessels. But when they make a shocking discovery about an alien species that has been long thought dead, it may be the thing that could tip the perilous peace mankind has found into full-out war.
Energetic and electrifying, Ancestral Night is a dazzling new space opera, sure to delight fans of Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks, and Peter F. Hamilton.”
Luna: Moon Rising
by Ian McDonald
Release date: March 19, 2019
The final book in the Five Dragons saga.
“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.
Witness the Dragons’ final battle for absolute sovereignty in Ian McDonald’s heart-stopping finale to the Luna trilogy.”
by Alastair Reynolds
Release date: March 19, 2019
“Fix the past. Save the present. Stop the future. Master of science fiction Alastair Reynolds unfolds a time-traveling climate fiction adventure in Permafrost.
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 Light Brigade
by Kameron Hurley
Release date: March 19, 2019
“They said the war would turn us into light…
The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief–no matter what actually happens during combat.
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.
Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero–or maybe a villain; in war it’s hard to tell the difference.
A worthy successor to classic stories like Downbelow Station, Starship Troopers, and The Forever War,The Light Brigade is award-winning author Kameron Hurley’s gritty time-bending take on the future of war.”
by James S.A. Corey
Release date: March 26, 2019
The Expanse, Book 8, and the second to last in the series.
“Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper.
In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable. But the price of that knowledge may be higher than she can pay.
At the heart of the empire, Teresa Duarte prepares to take on the burden of her father’s godlike ambition. The sociopathic scientist Paolo Cortázar and the Mephistophelian prisoner James Holden are only two of the dangers in a palace thick with intrigue, but Teresa has a mind of her own and secrets even her father the emperor doesn’t guess.
And throughout the wide human empire, the scattered crew of the Rocinante fights a brave rear-guard action against Duarte’s authoritarian regime. Memory of the old order falls away, and a future under Laconia’s eternal rule — and with it, a battle that humanity can only lose — seems more and more certain. Because against the terrors that lie between worlds, courage and ambition will not be enough…”
by Emma Newman
Release date: April 16, 2019
Planetfall Book 4.
“Six months after she left, Dee is struggling to manage her rage toward the people who ordered the nuclear strike that destroyed Earth. She’s trying to find those responsible, but she’s not getting very far alone.
A dedicated gamer, Dee is endeavoring to discover a mersive good enough to enable her to escape her trauma. When she is approached by a designer who asks her to play test his new game, she hopes it will be what she needs—but it isn’t like any mersive she’s played before. When a man suddenly dies in the real world, she realizes that at the same time in the game, she killed a character who bears a striking resemblance to the dead man—a man she discovers was one of those responsible for the death of millions on Earth.
Disturbed, but thinking it must be a coincidence, Dee continues the hunt for information. But when she finds out the plans for the future colony, she realizes that to save what is left of humanity, she might have to do something that risks what remains of her own.”
The War Ship: Rise of the Jain Book Two
by Neal Asher
Release date: May 7, 2019
“The dangers of ancient technology loom over the Polity in the sequel to The Soldier, Neal Asher’s latest action-packed space opera series.
The haiman Orlandine, charged with safeguarding lethal Jain tech swirling inside an accretion disc located in the distant reached of space, has weaponized a black hole to eliminate the threat. But others are suspicious of her motives, and both of the Polity AIs and the leaders of the alien prador kingdom dispatch fleets of warships in anticipation of conflict.
As the black hole continues to eat its way though the planets in the accretion disc, making its way towards a dead sun, it becomes clear the disc has been hiding a larger secret. Nefarious forces with ulterior motives have manipulated Orlandine into deploying the black hole, triggering a series of larger events that will uncover a danger far older than even the Polity itself.
From British science fiction writer Neal Asher, The War Ship picks up right where its predecessor, The Soldier, left off, showcasing Asher’s unique take on cutting-edge and fast-paced science fiction.”
Children of Ruin
by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Release date: May 14, 2019
Sequel to the award-winning 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.”
Fall; or, Dodge in Hell
by Neal Stephenson
Release date: June 4, 2019
“The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Seveneves, Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon returns with a wildly inventive and entertaining science fiction thriller – Paradise Lost by way of Philip K. Dick – that unfolds in the near future, in parallel worlds.
In his youth, Richard “Dodge” Forthrast founded Corporation 9592, a gaming company that made him a multibillionaire. Now in his middle years, Dodge appreciates his comfortable unencumbered life, managing his myriad business interests, and spending time with his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.
One beautiful autumn day, while he undergoes a routine medical procedure, something goes irrevocably wrong. Dodge is pronounced brain dead and put on life support, leaving his stunned family and close friends with difficult decisions. Long ago, when a much younger Dodge drew up his will, he directed that his body be given to a cryonics company now owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd. Legally bound to follow the directive despite their misgivings, Dodge’s family has his brain scanned and its date structures uploaded and stored in the cloud, until it can eventually be revived.
In the coming years, technology allows Dodge’s brain to be turned back on. It is an achievement that is nothing less than the disruption of death itself. An eternal afterlife – the Bitworld – is created, in which humans continue to exist as digital souls.
But this brave new immortal world is not the Utopia it might first seem…
Fall; or, Dodge in Hell is pure, unadulterated fun: a grand drama of analog and digital, man and machine, angels and demons, gods and followers, the finite and the eternal. In this exhilarating epic, Neal Stephenson raises profound existential questions and touches on the revolutionary breakthroughs that are transforming our future. Combining the technological, philosophical, and spiritual in one grand myth, he delivers a mind-blowing speculative literary saga for the modern age.”
Empress of Forever
by Max Gladstone
Release date: June 18, 2019
“A wildly successful innovator to rival Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, Vivian Liao is prone to radical thinking, quick decision-making, and reckless action. 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, Viv sets her ultimate plan into motion. A terrifying instant later, Vivian Liao 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 end of time is ruled by an ancient, powerful Empress who blesses or blasts entire planets with a single thought. Rebellion is literally impossible to consider–until Vivian Liao arrives. Trapped between the Pride—a ravening horde of sentient machines—and a fanatical sect of warrior monks who call themselves the Mirrorfaith, Viv must rally a strange group of allies to confront the Empress and find a way back to the world and life she left behind.
A magnificent work of vivid imagination and universe-spanning action, Empress of Forever is a feminist Guardians of the Galaxy crossed with Star Wars and spiced with the sensibility and spirit of Iain M. Banks and William Gibson.”
by Cadwell Turnbull
Release date: June 18, 2019
“An alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the US Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of superadvanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders and a peace that cannot last.
A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witness and victim to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.”
by William Gibson
Release date: September 3, 2019.
There’s not a lot of info on this book, but Gibson’s reputation speaks volumes all on its own.
“In William Gibson’s first novel since 2014’s New York Times bestselling The Peripheral, a gifted “app-whisperer”, hired to beta test a mysterious new product, finds her life endangered by her relationship with her surprisingly street-smart and combat-savvy “digital assistant”.
We hope you were able to find something here to add to the pile on your night stand. Let us know if you plan to read anything here or if you’ve heard any good rumors regarding these titles. Happy reading!