In a previous column, I outlined many of the sequels and series continuation books that I’m looking forward to in 2019. (Which I, like many people I know, continue to type “2018” as often as not. It feels very strange to be this far into the science fictional future of the 1980s. But that’s time for you.) In this column, I want to mention some of the standalone or series-opening novels that are due out in 2019, which I’m looking forward to very much.
Let’s start with two novels that I’ve been looking forward to ever since I heard the first whisper of their existence!
Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear
Elizabeth Bear’s Ancestral Night (Gollancz and Saga Press, March 5th) is a big-concept space opera that promises Bear’s trademark intelligence, wit, and verve. A team of salvagers run into a little more trouble than they’re entirely prepared to handle. Complications spiral. I can’t wait to have it in my hands.
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
Then there’s Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire (Tor Books, March 26th), another space opera novel, in which a diplomat from a minor regional power becomes entangled in the power struggles at the heart of a major empire. I read a version of this in draft and I can’t wait to see the final version.
This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
This Is How You Lose The Time War (Saga Press, July 16th), a novella from the extremely talented duo of Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, is apparently a story of time travel and cross-time romance (I’ll try anything by either of these writers, and I’m looking forward to their joint adventure).
Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett
Katharine Duckett’s Miranda in Milan (Tor.com Publishing, March 26th) is a novella sequel to Shakespeare’s The Tempest and about which I’ve heard nothing but good things.
Fran Wilde’s The Fire Opal Mechanism (Tor.com Publishing, June 4th) is a fantasy novella which, I’m assured by the author, contains librarian warlords, time travel, and girls who kiss girls.
The Outside by Ada Hoffman
Ada Hoffman’s The Outside (Angry Robot, June 11th) is a science fiction novel that boasts a touch of Lovecraftian horror and Big Ideas.
Finder by Suzanne Palmer
Suzanne Palmer’s Finder (DAW Books, April 2nd) looks like a rollicking ride of working-class space opera.
Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone
Empress of Forever (Tor Books, June 18th) is Max Gladstone’s first novel-length foray into science fiction, and based on his Craft sequence of fantasy novels and his science fictional short fiction, I’m really looking forward to this alleged “saga of a rag-tag team of brilliant misfits, dangerous renegades, and enhanced outlaws in a wartorn future.”
The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
Ann Leckie’s first foray into novel-length fantasy, The Raven Tower (Orbit Books, February 26th), looks to have a bit of a Shakespearean vibe, and I’m really interested to see how she treats an entirely new universe from her Radchaai books.
The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore
K.A. Doore brings us a debut fantasy novel in the form of The Perfect Assassin (Tor Books, March 19th), about assassins solving a murder mystery.
The Afterward by E.K. Johnston
E.K. Johnston’s The Afterward (Dutton Books for Young Readers, February 19th) is a story about what happens when the great kingdom-saving quest is over and some of the questers are cast back into their daily lives—now heroes, but heroes whose problems from their lives before the quest haven’t gone away, or even become noticeably less large.
Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston
And also from E.K. Johnston, I’m looking forward to Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow (Disney Press, March 5th), a tie-in novel about the young Padmé Amidala and her transition from Queen to Senator (alas for an advanced technological society that has such terrible obstetric care and maternal mortality).
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree (Bloomsbury, February 26th) is a novel about which I still know nothing except it has lesbians and dragons, and that’s enough to pique my interest.
The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley
Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigade (Angry Robot Books and Saga Press, March 19th) is a military science fiction novel set in one of Hurley’s trademark weird-tech dystopias.
Ship of Smoke and Steel by Django Wexler
Django Wexler’s Ship of Smoke and Steel (Tor Books, January 22nd) is a coming-of-age story complete with fantastical mysteries and deep peril.
The Red-Stained Wings by Elizabeth Bear
I forgot to mention in my last column that Elizabeth Bear will have a sequel to The Stone in the Skull out this year. The Red-Stained Wings is coming from Tor Books (May 28th), and I absolutely can’t wait.
by Vivian Shaw
And finally, Vivian Shaw will have her series-concluding Grave Importance out from Orbit (August 20th).
That’s the merest beginning of what I’m looking forward to reading in the coming year. What stands out for you guys?
Liz Bourke is a cranky queer person who reads books. She holds a Ph.D in Classics from Trinity College, Dublin. Her first book, Sleeping With Monsters, a collection of reviews and criticism, was published in 2017 by Aqueduct Press. It was a finalist for the 2018 Locus Awards and was nominated for a 2018 Hugo Award in Best Related Work. Find her at her blog, where she’s been known to talk about even more books thanks to her Patreon supporters. Or find her at her Twitter. She supports the work of the Irish Refugee Council, the Transgender Equality Network Ireland, and the Abortion Rights Campaign.