Head below for the full list of SF titles heading your way in April!
Keep track of all the new SFF releases 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 6)
Hummingbird Salamander—Jeff VanderMeer (MCD)
Security consultant “Jane Smith” receives an envelope with a key to a storage unit that holds a taxidermied hummingbird and clues leading her to a taxidermied salamander. Silvina, the dead woman who left the note, is a reputed ecoterrorist and the daughter of an Argentine industrialist. By taking the hummingbird from the storage unit, Jane sets in motion a series of events that quickly spin beyond her control. Soon, Jane and her family are in danger, with few allies to help her make sense of the true scope of the peril. Is the only way to safety to follow in Silvina’s footsteps? Is it too late to stop? As she desperately seeks answers about why Silvina contacted her, time is running out—for her and possibly for the world.
I’m Waiting for You: And Other Stories—Bo-Young Kim (Harper Voyager)
In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the galaxy to ensure—through relativity—they can arrive back on Earth simultaneously to make it down the aisle. But small incidents wreak havoc on space and time, driving their wedding date further away. As centuries on Earth pass and the land and climate change, one thing is constant: the desire of the lovers to be together. In two separate yet linked stories, Kim Bo-Young cleverly demonstrate the idea love that is timeless and hope springs eternal, despite seemingly insurmountable challenges and the deepest despair. In “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life,” humanity is viewed through the eyes of its creators: godlike beings for which everything on Earth—from the richest woman to a speck of dirt—is an extension of their will. When one of the creations questions the righteousness of this arrangement, it is deemed a perversion—a disease—that must be excised and cured. Yet the Prophet Naban, whose “child” is rebelling, isn’t sure the rebellion is bad. What if that which is considered criminal is instead the natural order—and those who condemn it corrupt? Exploring the dichotomy between the philosophical and the corporeal, Kim ponders the fate of free-will, as she considers the most basic of questions: who am I?
A River Called Time—Courttia Newland (Akashic Books)
The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning. Years after the Ark was cut off from the world—a world much like our own, but in which slavery has never existed—a chance of survival within the Ark’s confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth. Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations. Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself, and the people he thought he once knew.
Rich Man’s Sky—Wil McCarthy (Baen)
Space: a tycoon’s playground. From a space station full of women to a monastery on the Moon, from a Martian reality-TV contest to a solar shade large enough to cool the Earth, the dreams of a handful of trillionaires dictate the future of humanity. Outside the reach of Earthly law and with the vast resources of the inner solar system at their disposal, the “Four Horsemen” do exactly as they please. The governments of Earth are not amused; an international team of elite military women, masquerading as space colonists, are set to infiltrate and neutralize the largest and most dangerous project in human history. But nothing is that simple when rich men control the sky, as everyone involved is about to discover.
Doctor Aphra (Star Wars)—Sarah Kuhn (Del Rey)
Dr. Chelli Lona Aphra, rogue archaeologist, is in trouble again. A pioneer in the field of criminal xenoarchaeology, Aphra recognizes no law, has no fear, and possesses no impulse control. To her, the true worth of the galactic relics she discovers isn’t found in a museum but in an arsenal. This viewpoint has led to a lot of misunderstandings. After her latest plan goes horribly wrong, her roguish ways are on the verge of catching up to her. That’s when suddenly Darth Vader, terror of the galaxy, swoops in with his lightsaber and…saves her life? Don’t get her wrong—it’s not like she’s ungrateful. Sure, her new boss is a lord of the Sith. And okay, she may have just become a pawn in a deadly game being played by him and his boss, who happens to be the Galactic Emperor. And yes, the life expectancy of anyone who disappoints Vader can be measured in seconds. But she’s back doing what she does best. She’s got a ship to fly, a heist to pull, and two unorthodox but effective metal buddies: Triple-Zero, a protocol droid specializing in etiquette, customs, translation, and torture, and BT-1, an astromech loaded with enough firepower to take down a battlecruiser. Together, they might just find a way to get the job done and avoid the deadly performance review that waits at its conclusion. Just kidding. She’s doomed.
WEEK TWO (April 13)
Breath by Breath (Step by Step #3)—Morgan Llywelyn (Tor Books)
The residents of Sycamore River have weathered the Change and the nuclear war it provoked. They emerge to try to build a life from the shattered remains of their town. But for some, the very air has become toxic. The people of Sycamore River have to survived the unthinkable. Can they build something new from the ashes?
WEEK THREE (April 20)
Terminal Boredom: Stories—Izumi Suzuki, translated by Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, Daniel Joseph, Aiko Masubuchi, Helen O’Horan (Verso)
At turns nonchalantly hip and charmingly deranged, Suzuki’s singular slant on speculative fiction would be echoed in countless later works, from Margaret Atwood and Harumi Murakami, to Black Mirror and Ex Machina. In these darkly playful and punky stories, the fantastical elements are always earthed by the universal pettiness of strife between the sexes, and the gritty reality of life on the lower rungs, whatever planet that ladder might be on.
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Wayfarers #4)—Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager)
With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop. At the Five-Hop One-Stop, long-haul spacers can stretch their legs (if they have legs, that is), and get fuel, transit permits, and assorted supplies. The Five-Hop is run by an enterprising alien and her sometimes helpful child, who work hard to provide a little piece of home to everyone passing through. When a freak technological failure halts all traffic to and from Gora, three strangers—all different species with different aims—are thrown together at the Five-Hop. Grounded, with nothing to do but wait, the trio—an exiled artist with an appointment to keep, a cargo runner at a personal crossroads, and a mysterious individual doing her best to help those on the fringes—are compelled to confront where they’ve been, where they might go, and what they are, or could be, to each other.
Spectrum (Web Shifter’s Library #3)—Julie E. Czerneda (DAW)
Something malevolent lurks in deep space, something able to pluck starships from their course and cause their crews to vanish. It has a purpose: to use those ships to mark an unmistakable boundary. A warning. It has an interest: Botharis, the planet where Esen and Paul have established the All Species’ Library of Linguistics and Culture. Home to Veya Ragem, whose ship was the first to trespass. Esen and Paul will need every resource, every friend and even foes, if they’re to discover who—or what is behind this before more are lost. Once they do, Esen plans to use her abilities to comprehend and reason with this new species. What she doesn’t know? There truly are monsters. And they wait for you in the dark. Just ask Evan Gooseberry.
Defekt—Nino Cipri (Tordotcom Publishing)
Derek is LitenVärld’s most loyal employee. He lives and breathes the job, from the moment he wakes up in a converted shipping container at the edge of the parking lot to the second he clocks out of work 18 hours later. But after taking his first ever sick day, his manager calls that loyalty into question. An excellent employee like Derek, an employee made to work at LitenVärld, shouldn’t need time off. To test his commitment to the job, Derek is assigned to a special inventory shift, hunting through the store to find defective products. Toy chests with pincers and eye stalks, ambulatory sleeper sofas, killer mutant toilets, that kind of thing. Helping him is the inventory team—four strangers who look and sound almost exactly like him. Are five Dereks better than one?
The Last Watch (Divide #1)—J.S. Dewes (Tor Books)
The Divide. It’s the edge of the universe. Now it’s collapsing—and taking everyone and everything with it. The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels—the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military. At the Divide, Adequin Rake commands the Argus. She has no resources, no comms—nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted. Her ace in the hole could be Cavalon Mercer—genius, asshole, and exiled prince who nuked his grandfather’s genetic facility for “reasons.” She knows they’re humanity’s last chance.
The Nirvana Effect—Brian Pinkerton (Flame Tree Press)
No one goes out anymore. Society is sheltered indoors. The economy is in ruins. People spend their lives addicted to a breakthrough virtual reality technology, desperate for escapism in a troubled world. The Nirvana Effect has taken over. Aaron and Clarissa are members of a subculture of realists who resist the lure of a fake utopia. They watch in horror as the technology spreads across the country with willing participants who easily forgo their freedoms for false pleasures. When the young couple discovers a plot to enforce compliance for mind control, the battle for free will begins. What started as a playful diversion turns deadly. The future of the human race is at stake.
Unity—Elly Bangs (Tachyon)
Danae is not only herself. She is concealing a connection to a grieving collective inside of her body. But while she labors as a tech servant in the dangerous underwater enclave of Bloom City, her fractured self cannot mend. In a desperate escape, Danae and her lover Naoto hire the enigmatic ex-mercenary Alexei to guide them out of the imploding city. But for Danae to reunify, the three new fugitives will have to flee across the otherworldly beauty of the postapocalyptic Southwest. Meanwhile, Danae’s warlord enemy, the Duke, and a strange new foe, the Borrower, already seek them at any price.
WEEK FOUR (April 27)
Fugitive Telemetry (Murderbot Diaries #6)—Martha Wells (Tordotcom Publishing)
Having captured the hearts of readers across the globe (Annalee Newitz says it’s “one of the most humane portraits of a nonhuman I’ve ever read”) Murderbot has also established Martha Wells as one of the great SF writers of today. No, I didn’t kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn’t dump the body in the station mall. When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people—who knew? Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans! Again!
Eye of the Sh*t Storm (Frost Files #3) – Jackson Ford (Orbit)
Teagan Frost might be getting better at moving sh*t with her mind—but her job working as a telekinetic government operative only ever seems to get harder. That’s not even talking about her car-crash of a love life… And things are about to get even tougher. No sooner has Teagan chased off one psychotic kid hell-bent on trashing the whole West Coast, but now she has to contend with another supernatural being who can harness devastating electrical power. And if Teagan can’t stop him, the whole of Los Angeles will be facing the sh*tstorm of the century…
Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy — Book II: Greater Good (Star Wars)—Timothy Zahn (Del Rey)
Thrawn’s latest triumph still rests newly on his shoulders. He has led the Chiss to victory and brought glory to the House of Mitth, but the true threat to the Ascendancy has not yet been extinguished. Across the Ascendancy, seemingly inconsequential events could herald the doom of the Chiss. As Thrawn and the Expansionary Defense Fleet rally to uncover the plot, they discover a chilling truth: Rather than invade Chiss capitals or pillage resources, their enemy strikes at the very foundation of the Ascendancy, seeking to widen the rifts between the Nine Ruling Families and the Forty Great Houses below. As rivalry and suspicion sow discord among allies, each warrior must decide what matters most to them: the security of their family or the survival of the Ascendancy itself.