2023 will see the return of some of the internet’s favorite writers (Samantha Shannon! TJ Klune!), the genius behind the Murderbot Diaries heading back to fantasy and Chuck Tingle (!!!) releasing his debut novel.
The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz
Tor | January 31
It’s a delight to be alive at the same time as Annalee Newitz, author of equally brilliant fiction and nonfiction. Newitz is returning to sci-fi after their marvelous Four Lost Cities, a historical exploration of ancient metropolises, with The Terraformers. The epic novel will explore the conflict between nature and capitalism on the planet Sask-E, which a powerful corporation transforms over the centuries into a world suitable for human life.
Don’t Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones
Saga | February 7
Horror-obsessed teen Jade Daniels is back, and unfortunately, her town of Proofrock, Idaho, is once again in danger in this sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw. Another killer is on his way to the town, a man obsessed with getting revenge for 38 Dakota men who were hanged by the United States government in 1862, and it will take all of Jade’s survival skills and genre knowledge to stop him.
Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez, translated by Megan McDowell
Hogarth | February 7
Only two story collections from Mariana Enriquez, an acclaimed Argentinian writer of speculative fiction and horror, have been translated into English (Things We Lost in the Fire and The Dangers of Smoking in Bed). Our Share of Night is her first translated novel, and this frightening tale of a father desperate to protect his son from the cult his son’s mother belonged to could be Enriquez’s big breakout.
The Magician’s Daughter by H.G. Parry
Redhook | February 21
If you’re the type of SFF reader who loves fantasy as much as historical trivia, you probably already know about H.G. Parry’s gloriously nerdy Shadow Histories duology. The series suffused the Enlightenment and the age of revolution with magicians who, in addition to arguing about civil liberties, debated whether restrictions should be placed upon sorcery. Parry’s next novel, while still a historical fantasy, is noticeably more whimsical in tone: The Magician’s Daughter is the story of a sheltered orphan who lives on Hy-Brasil, a secret island off the coast of Ireland, and must venture into the outside world after her guardian goes missing.
A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon
Bloomsbury | February 28
The Priory of the Orange Tree, one of the internet’s very favorite fantasy novels, has everything a genre fan could want: an intriguing world with fascinating historical parallels, a gorgeous love story and unbelievably cool dragons. Priory was said to be a standalone novel when it was first released, but apparently, author Samantha Shannon just couldn’t resist. Fans are wild with anticipation for A Day of Fallen Night, which is set in the same world as Priory but almost five centuries earlier.
The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty
Harper Voyager | March 7
Shannon Chakraborty’s Daevabad series is one of the best fantasy trilogies of recent years (and a well-deserved BookTok favorite). She returns with what looks to be a rollicking good time: a fantasy adventure following the titular pirate, who comes out of retirement to rescue a former crewmember’s kidnapped daughter.
The Curator by Owen King
Scribner | March 7
Owen King (yes, son of that Stephen) has written short stories, horror and literary fiction, but his latest novel is best described as a high-concept intellectual experiment, filtered through the lens of fantasy. Set in a vaguely Dickensian city that has recently undergone a revolution, The Curator follows former maid Dora as she searches for answers about her brother’s mysterious death, which she believes has something to do with the Museum of Psykical Research.
Lone Women by Victor LaValle
One World | March 21
The idiosyncratic author of The Changeling goes west with the frightening story of Adelaide Henry, a woman in turn-of-the-century America who flees to the frontier to hide a terrible secret. As with all of Victor LaValle’s novels, the less you know going in, the better.
A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher
Tor Nightfire | March 28
T. Kingfisher hops back and forth between fantasy and horror, bringing her gift for endearing characters and spiky wit to each genre. Her next horror novel, A House With Good Bones, is a Southern gothic drama that will mix scares with family secrets.
One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake
Tor | April 4
Olivie Blake’s Atlas series made the jump from self-publishing phenomenon to bestseller, and there’s more where that came from, with book after book being released from Blake’s archives. First there was the contemporary romance Alone With You in the Ether, and now there’s One for My Enemy, a modern fantasy set in a New York City where two rival witch families teeter on the edge of all-out war.
In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune
Tor | April 25
“Pinocchio but with robots” pretty much sounds like the perfect plot for TJ Klune, he of the adorable characters and perfectly measured whimsy. Throw in a Swiss Family Robinson-esque home in the trees, and we’re sold.
The Ferryman by Justin Cronin
Ballantine | May 2
It’s been seven years since Justin Cronin brought his bestselling Passage trilogy to a close with City of Mirrors. This spring, he returns with another tale of sci-fi apocalypse, but this time with a heady metaphysical twist. On the isolated island of Prospera, safe from the world beyond, citizens live long and happy lives until they are “retired.” Their memories are wiped, their bodies are restored and they return to the island to live a new life. But of course, as it is with most so-called utopias, things aren’t what they seem, and Prospera isn’t the paradise its people think it is.
Witch King by Martha Wells
Tordotcom | May 30
Martha Wells, the gleeful genius behind the Murderbot Diaries, pivots to fantasy for the first time in years with the story of a powerful mage who gets murdered, gets resurrected and is faced with a world that has changed a lot while he’s been gone.
The Reformatory by Tananarive Due
Saga | June 27
The iconic, bestselling writer of various speculative genres, Tananarive Due turns once again to horror in this novel set at a segregated reform school in 1950s Florida, where a young boy realizes that the spirits of other children who have died there are haunting the property.
Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle
Tor Nightfire | July 18
Is Chuck Tingle the opposite of a milkshake duck? The mysterious, wildly prolific erotica author’s outrageous oeuvre has been delighting those in the know for years, and that was before we learned that Chuck Tingle is: 1) a real person who really does love writing erotica and isn’t just doing it for the bit, 2) a hilarious troll who firmly rejected the reactionary movements that attempted to game the Hugo Awards and 3) an advocate for freedom, love and LGBTQ+ rights. The gay conversion camp-set horror novel Camp Damascus is his first full-length book, and will introduce him to audiences that are not terminally online but still sorely need his earnest, joyful perspective on life and love.
Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong
Saga | July 25
Young adult author Chloe Gong looked to Romeo and Juliet for her first two books, As You Like It for her third and now Antony and Cleopatra for her adult fantasy debut, Immortal Longings. Her Cleopatra stand-in is Princess Calla Tuoleimi, who takes part in a magical contest with the hopes of assassinating her reclusive uncle, who will make an appearance to greet the winner of the games. Along the way, she forms an alliance and then a relationship with aristocrat Anton Makusa, and must decide between her quest and her new love.
Masters of Death by Olivie Blake
Tor | August 8
Within Olivie Blake’s impending flood of new books, Masters of Death sounds like the most lighthearted: It’s a romance between Viola Marek, a vampire real estate agent, and medium Fox D’Mora, to whom Viola turns for help in figuring out who murdered a man haunting a house she really needs to sell.
Starter Villain by John Scalzi
Tor | August 29
Sci-fi author John Scalzi gifted readers with the absolute romp that was The Kaiju Preservation Society last year, and it looks like he’s still in his “screw interplanetary politics, let’s have some fun” phase. Starter Villain will follow a protagonist who inherits their uncle’s supervillain business, a hilarious concept made even funnier by the fact that this business is apparently staffed by “sentient . . . computer-savvy cats.”