Broken branches crunch underneath your feet. Sunlight pours through the leaves of the trees, but it isn’t really sun, not the sun you know. Moving on is the only way, moving forward into the light, into the stars. This month’s science-fiction titles are full of new worlds to build (and maybe destroy): combat a primeval natural world in Eden by Tim Lebbon; follow a thief who unwittingly steals the first sentient AI in Repo Virtual by Corey J. White; and save humanity from collapse in the thrilling conclusion to John Scalzi’s Interdependency series, The Last Emperox.
Head below for the full list of science fiction titles heading your way in April!
Keep track of all the new releases here. You can also find horror titles scheduled for 2020 here. All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher. Note: Release dates are subject to change.
WEEK ONE (April 7)
Now, Then, and Everywhen—Rysa Walker (47North, 4/1)
When two time-traveling historians cross paths during one of the most tumultuous decades of the twentieth century, history goes helter-skelter. But which one broke the timeline? In 2136 Madison Grace uncovers a key to the origins of CHRONOS, a time-travel agency with ties to her family’s mysterious past. Just as she is starting to jump through history, she returns to her timeline to find millions of lives erased—and only the people inside her house realize anything has changed. In 2304 CHRONOS historian Tyson Reyes is assigned to observe the crucial events that played out in America’s civil rights movement. But a massive time shift occurs while he’s in 1965, and suddenly the history he sees isn’t the history he knows. As Madi’s and Tyson’s journeys collide, they must prevent the past from being erased forever. But strange forces are at work. Are Madi and Tyson in control or merely pawns in someone else’s game?
Eden—Tim Lebbon (Titan)
Earth’s rising oceans contain enormous islands of refuse, the Amazon rainforest is all-but destroyed, and countless species edge towards extinction. Humanity’s last hope to save the planet lies with The Virgin Zones, thirteen vast areas of land off-limits to people and given back to nature. Dylan leads a clandestine team of adventure racers, including his daughter Jenn, into Eden, the oldest of the Zones. Jenn carries a secret—Kat, Dylan’s wife who abandoned them both years ago, has entered Eden ahead of them. Jenn is determined to find her mother, but neither she nor the rest of their tight-knit team are prepared for what confronts them. Nature has returned to Eden in an elemental, primeval way. And here, nature is no longer humanity’s friend.
WEEK TWO (April 14)
Queen (Sibyl’s War #3)—Timothy Zahn (Tor Books)
Nicole Hammond is a Sibyl, a special human that has the ability to communicate with a strange alien ship called the Fyrantha. However, Nicole and all other sentient creatures are caught up in a war for control between two competing factions. Now, the street-kid turned rebel leader has a plan that would restore freedom to all who have been shanghaied by the strange ship. She just has to unite the many alien races being forced to combat for their freedom, dodge slaving war profiteers determined to capture her, and convince an AI at war with itself to trust her above all else.
The Last Emperox (Interdependency #3)—John Scalzi (Tor Books)
The collapse of The Flow, the interstellar pathway between the planets of the Interdependency, has accelerated. Entire star systems―and billions of people―are becoming cut off from the rest of human civilization. This collapse was foretold through scientific prediction… and yet, even as the evidence is obvious and insurmountable, many still try to rationalize, delay and profit from, these final days of one of the greatest empires humanity has ever known. Emperox Grayland II has finally wrested control of her empire from those who oppose her and who deny the reality of this collapse. But “control” is a slippery thing, and even as Grayland strives to save as many of her people form impoverished isolation, the forces opposing her rule will make a final, desperate push to topple her from her throne and power, by any means necessary. Grayland and her thinning list of allies must use every tool at their disposal to save themselves, and all of humanity. And yet it may not be enough. Will Grayland become the savior of her civilization… or the last emperox to wear the crown?
Vagabonds—Hao Jingfang, transl. Ken Liu (Saga)
This genre-bending novel is set on Earth in the wake of a second civil war… not between two factions in one nation, but two factions in one solar system: Mars and Earth. In an attempt to repair increasing tensions, the colonies of Mars send a group of young people to live on Earth to help reconcile humanity. But the group finds itself with no real home, no friends, and fractured allegiances as they struggle to find a sense of community and identity, trapped between two worlds.
The Book of Koli (Ramparts #1)—M. R. Carey (Orbit)
Everything that lives hates us… Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will. Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls. He’s wrong.
Sons of War (Saints #1)—Nicholas Sansbury Smith (Blackstone)
Across the world, the United States recalls troops to combat civil unrest after the biggest economic meltdown in history. Marine Sergeant Ronaldo Salvatore’s platoon comes home to a powder keg that could ignite a civil war. While some see the coming collapse as the end, others see opportunity. Fleeing Naples after rival crime lords decimated his family, Don Antonio Moretti settles in Los Angeles to rebuild his criminal empire. But he is far from alone in his ambitions—the cartel and rival gangs all want the same turf, and they will sacrifice their own soldiers and the blood of innocents to get it. As open warfare erupts across the states, Salvatore fights his way back to LA, where his son has joined the police in the battle for a city spiraling into anarchy. Family is everything, and the Morettis and Salvatores will do what they must to protect their own. But how far will they go to survive in a new economy where the only currency is violence?
WEEK THREE (April 21)
Repo Virtual—Corey J White (Tor.com Publishing)
The city of Neo Songdo is a Russian doll of realities—augmented and virtual spaces anchored in the weight of the real. The smart city is designed to be read by machine vision while people see only the augmented facade of the corporate ideal. At night the stars are obscured by an intergalactic virtual war being waged by millions of players, while on the streets below people are forced to beg, steal, and hustle to survive. Enter Julius Dax, online repoman and real-life thief. He’s been hired for a special job: stealing an unknown object from a reclusive tech billionaire. But when he finds out he’s stolen the first sentient AI, his payday gets a lot more complicated.
Master Class—Christina Dalcher (Berkley)
Every child’s potential is regularly determined by a standardized measurement: their quotient (Q). Score high enough, and attend a top tier school with a golden future. Score too low, and it’s off to a federal boarding school with limited prospects afterwards. The purpose? An improved society where education costs drop, teachers focus on the more promising students, and parents are happy. Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s elite schools. When her nine-year-old daughter bombs a monthly test and her Q score drops to a disastrously low level, she is immediately forced to leave her top school for a federal institution hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena thought she understood the tiered educational system, but as a mother whose child is now gone, Elena’s perspective is changed forever. She just wants her daughter back. And she will do the unthinkable to make it happen.
WEEK FOUR (April 28)
Critical Point (Cas Russell #3)—S.L. Huang (Tor Books)
Math-genius mercenary Cas Russell has stopped a shadow organization from brainwashing the world and discovered her past was deliberately erased and her superhuman abilities deliberately created. And that’s just the start: When a demolitions expert targets Cas and her friends, and the hidden conspiracy behind Cas’s past starts to reappear, the past, present, and future collide in a race to save one of her dearest friends.
The Human Son—Adrian J. Walker (Solaris)
The Earth was dying, and only the Erta could save it. Created to be genetically superior, hyper-intelligent and unburdened by the full range of human emotions, they succeeded by removing the cause: humans. Now the Erta are faced with a dilemma—if they reintroduce the rebellious and violent Homo sapiens, all of their work could be undone.
Firefly: The Ghost Machine—James Lovegrove (Titan)
Mal and the crew take receipt of a sealed crate which they are being paid to transport to Badger, no questions asked. Yet once their cargo is safely stowed aboard, River insists Mal should “space” it out of the airlock, for it contains, she insists, ghosts. With supplies running low, the crew desperately need another pay day, but soon find themselves paralysed by hallucinations of their deepest hopes and desires, so vivid they cannot be distinguished from reality. River is the only one unaffected, and desperately tries to awaken her crew mates, while the fantasies turn sour, and the ship begins to spin out of control.