Head below for the full list of science fiction 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. Release dates are subject to change.
Week One (April 5)
Our Shared Storm: A Novel of Five Climate Futures — Andrew Dana Hudson (Fordham University Press)
What is the future of our climate? Given that our summers now regularly feature Arctic heat waves and wildfire blood skies, polar vortex winters that reach all the way down to Texas, and “100-year” storms that hit every few months, it may seem that catastrophe is a done deal. As grim as things are, however, we still have options. Combining fiction and nonfiction and employing speculative tools for scholarly purposes, Our Shared Storm explores not just one potential climate future but five possible outcomes dependent upon our actions today. Written by speculative-fiction writer and sustainability researcher Andrew Dana Hudson, Our Shared Storm features five overlapping fictions to employ a futurist technique called “scenarios thinking.” Rather than try to predict how history will unfold—picking one out of many unpredictable and contingent branching paths—it instead creates a set of futures that represent major trends or counterposed possibilities, based on a set of climate-modeling scenarios known as the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). The setting is the year 2054, during the Conference of the Parties global climate negotiations (a.k.a., The COP) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Each story features a common cast of characters, but with events unfolding differently for them—and human society—in each alternate universe. These five scenarios highlight the political, economic, and cultural possibilities of futures where investments in climate adaptation and mitigation promised today have been successfully completed, kicked down the road, or abandoned altogether. From harrowing to hopeful, these stories highlight the choices we must make to stabilize the planet.
Braking Day — Adam Oyebanji (DAW)
It’s been over a century since three generation ships escaped an Earth dominated by artificial intelligence in pursuit of a life on a distant planet orbiting Tau Ceti. Now, it’s nearly Braking Day, when the ships will begin their long-awaited descent to their new home. Born on the lower decks of the Archimedes, Ravi Macleod is an engineer-in-training, set to be the first of his family to become an officer in the stratified hierarchy aboard the ship. While on a routine inspection, Ravi sees the impossible: a young woman floating, helmetless, out in space. And he’s the only one who can see her. As his visions of the girl grow more frequent, Ravi is faced with a choice: secure his family’s place among the elite members of Archimedes’ crew or risk it all by pursuing the mystery of the floating girl. With the help of his cousin, Boz, and her illegally constructed AI, Ravi must investigate the source of these strange visions and uncovers the truth of the Archimedes’ departure from Earth before Braking Day arrives and changes everything about life as they know it.
The Blood Trials (Blood Gift #1) — N. E. Davenport (Harper Voyager)
It’s all about blood. The blood spilled between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor long ago. The blood gifts of Mareen’s deadliest enemies. The blood that runs through the elite War Houses of Mareen, the rulers of the Tribunal dedicated to keeping the republic alive. The blood of the former Legatus, Verne Amari, murdered. For his granddaughter, Ikenna, the only thing steady in her life was the man who had saved Mareen. The man who had trained her in secret, not just in martial skills, but in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her. Who trained her to keep that a secret. But now there are too many secrets, and with her grandfather assassinated, Ikenna knows two things: that only someone on the Tribunal could have ordered his death, and that only a Praetorian Guard could have carried out that order. Bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials—a brutal initiation that only a quarter of the aspirants survive. She subjects herself to the racism directed against her half-Khanaian heritage and the misogyny of a society that cherishes progeny over prodigy, all while hiding a power that—if found out—would subject her to execution… or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all because she needs to find out who murdered her grandfather… and then she needs to kill them. Mareen has been at peace for a long time… Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.
Into the Real (Transdimensional Hunter) — John Ringo, Lydia Sherrer (Baen)
Lynn Raven may be the boss master of WarMonger 2050 with her online persona of “Larry the Snake,” but when the CEO of Tsunami Entertainment personally asks her, as a favor, to beta test a new augmented reality game, she has to face her greatest fear: going outside and dealing with, ugh, people. As she becomes more immersed in the game, the stakes rise and so do the obstacles. Strife between teammates, a ruthless rival team, and these strange glitches that make it seem like the game algorithm (or maybe “game AI”?) has it in for her. Now she has to face a new fear: is she willing to step into the real to win the future she’s always wanted? What do you do when a game and real life merge?
Week Two (April 12)
One Potato — Tyler McMahon (Keylight)
Eddie unwillingly arrives in South America only to find his plans for a quick resolution thwarted when he gets caught between the two sides of an impending revolution, each hoping to capitalize on the potato scandal in order to seize power. Eddie stumbles into a conspiracy that reveals just how far his company will go to advance its potato empire. He is forced to make a choice: what—and who—will he sacrifice to preserve his own future in this brave new world of biotechnology?
Week Three (April 19)
The Memory Librarian And Other Stories of Dirty Computer — Janelle Monáe & others (Harper Voyager)
Whoever controls our memories controls the future. Janelle Monáe and an incredible array of talented collaborating creators have written a collection of tales comprising the bold vision and powerful themes that have made Monáe such a compelling and celebrated storyteller. Dirty Computer introduced a world in which thoughts—as a means of self-conception—could be controlled or erased by a select few. And whether human, A.I., or other, your life and sentience was dictated by those who’d convinced themselves they had the right to decide your fate. That was until Jane 57821 decided to remember and break free. Expanding from that mythos, these stories fully explore what it’s like to live in such a totalitarian existence… and what it takes to get out of it. Building off the traditions of speculative writers such as Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Becky Chambers, and Nnedi Okorafor—and filled with the artistic genius and powerful themes that have made Monáe a worldwide icon in the first place—The Memory Librarian serves readers tales grounded in the human trials of identity expression, technology, and love, but also reaching through to the worlds of memory and time within, and the stakes and power that exists there.
The Devil’s Dictionary — Steven Kotler (St. Martin’s Press)
Hard to say exactly when the human species fractured. Harder to say when this new talent arrived. But Lion Zorn, protagonist of Last Tango in Cyberspace, is the first of his kind—an empathy tracker, an emotional forecaster, with a felt sense for how culture evolves and the future arrives. It’s also a useful skill in today’s competitive business market. In The Devil’s Dictionary, when a routine em-tracking job goes sideways and em-trackers themselves start disappearing, Lion finds himself not knowing who to trust in a life and death race to uncover the truth. And when the trail leads to the world’s first mega-linkage, a continent-wide national park advertised as the best way to stave off environmental collapse, and exotic animals unlike any on Earth start showing up—Lion’s quest for truth becomes a fight for the survival of the species.
Week Four (April 26)
Rosebud — Paul Cornell (Tordotcom Publishing)
When five sentient digital beings—condemned for over three hundred years to crew the small survey ship by the all-powerful Company—encounter a mysterious black sphere, their course of action is clear: obtain the object, inform the Company, earn lots of praise. But the ship malfunctions, and the crew has no choice but to approach the sphere and survey it themselves. They have no idea that this object—and the transcendent truth hidden within—will change the fate of all existence, the Company, and themselves.
The Void Ascendant (Beneath the Rising #3) — Premee Mohamed (Solaris)
Seven years ago, the last survivor of Earth crashed through uncountable dimensions to a strange new world. Nick Prasad found shelter, and a living, as a prophet for the ruling family—servants of the Ancient Ones who destroyed his home. Now, he’s been offered a chance to rid the multiverse of the Ancient Ones, past and present and forever, although he’ll have to betray his new masters to do it. The first step is jailbreaking a god—and that’s the easy part…
Resilient (Fractal #2) — Allen Stroud (Flame Tree Press)
AD 2118. Humanity has colonised the Moon, Mars, Ceres and Europa. The partnership of corporations and governments has energized the space programme for one hundred years. That partnership is shattered when a terrorist attack destroys the world’s biggest solar array in Atacama, Chile, altering the global economic balance. On Mars, at Phobos Station, Doctor Emerson Drake arrives, responding to an emergency call to assist a shuttle of wounded miners, but when those miners turn out to be insurgents, Drake realises he is trapped and fighting to survive. In deep space, Captain Ellisa Shann has passed her limits. Now, the last survivors of the Khidr have to choose whether to try to get home on the captured ship, Gallowglass, or stay to observe the strange gravity anomaly that swallowed up the remains of their vessel. On Earth, in an undisclosed location, Natalie Holder finally has an opportunity to break free from her confinement, where she has been experimented on, multiple times. Her consciousness is transmitted to Phobos Station, just as insurgents take over the facility. Holder and Drake form an alliance but are separated. Drake is captured and taken to the insurgent leader—Rocher—a clone of the stowaway who caused the munity on Captain Shann’s Khidr.