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A collection of book titles, all featured in this post Graphic: Pete Volk/Polygon | Source images: Various

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The 25 science fiction and fantasy books we’re excited for in 2024

Exciting debuts, beloved authors returning, and much more

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The time has come to send 2023 and all of its highs and lows packing and to ring in the new year. While it’s impossible to say now what 2024 holds in store for all of us, there is one thing that I know for certain: It is going to be a truly banner year for sci-fi and fantasy readers. Not only does Leigh Bardugo have a new novel coming out (I’m counting down the days for this one myself), but there are also titles translated by Anton Hur and Ken Liu coming out, the writing duo that makes up James S.A. Corey is joining forces once again, and the long wait for several sequels is finally coming to an end.

The publishing schedule for the back half of 2024 is still a mystery (even to the most book-savvy people), but below you’ll find 25 titles hitting shelves between the months of January and September. That’s a full nine months of reading planned out for you to enjoy! So take a look and let us know what you’re most looking forward to.

A veiled woman looks to the side in the cover of Shubnum Khan’s The Djinn Waits A Hundred Years. She wears red and there are shadow sof hands on heir veil Image: VIking

The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years by Shubnum Khan

Jan. 9

A sumptuous and haunting multi-generational saga set in a crumbling estate along the coast of South Africa, The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years promises to be a fresh take on a classic and beloved genre. When Sana and her father move into Akbar Manzil, the last thing they expect to find is a house full of secrets, a garden full of bones, and a lonely and heartbroken djinn haunting its decaying halls. Stranger still is the east wing of the house, its contents frozen in time, and the story of love and tragic, untimely death that awaits Sana’s discovery.

A creepy looking owl hangs out on a branch in the cover for Aimee Pokwatka’s The Parliament Image: Tor

The Parliament by Aimee Pokwatka

Jan. 16

Billed by Tordotcom as “The Birds meets The Princess Bride (an intriguing combination to say the least), Aimee Pokwatka’s upcoming fantasy horror novel The Parliament asks readers “What would happen if tens of thousands of bloodthirsty owls descended upon a small town library, trapping people inside?” The answer, as Madeline Purdue discovers, is utter chaos. Madeline is determined to keep her students safe and alive, but with food and water in short supply, she finds herself struggling to find a way out that will keep them far away from the owls.

A woman in a white dress smirks as a wolf appears in the night sky in the cover for Ali Hazelwood’s Bride Image: Berkley

Bride by Ali Hazelwood

Feb. 6

Ali Hazelwood, bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis and Love, Theoretically, has taken a paranormal approach to her steamy new romance novel, Bride. Misery Lark (which is, in my opinion, an excellent name for a vampire who happens to be the leading lady in a romance novel) has been living secretly among humans, away from her cold and uncaring father and the threat of werewolves, for years. But Misery’s days of anonymity and peace are swiftly coming to a close. When a deal is struck between the werewolves and the vampires, Misery finds herself being married to Lowe Moreland, their surly — and frustratingly handsome — Alpha.

Cover for Robert Jackson Bennett’s The Tainted Cup, a gold and black image overgrowing with leaves that shows a spilled cup, with flowers made of skulls growing out of what spilled. Image: Del Rey

The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett

Feb. 6

I’ve been a huge fan of Robert Jackson Bennett and his books for some time now. He’s truly masterful when it comes to magic systems and world-building, and his upcoming novel, The Tainted Cup, promises to be no exception. Set in a brand-new world with a brand-new set of characters, The Tainted Cup is a clever spin on classic murder mysteries. Ana Dolabra is a brilliant investigator who insists on wearing a blindfold at all times and never sets foot outside her home. Her assistant, Dinios Kol, has been magically altered to have a perfect memory, so it falls to him to be her eyes, ears, and everything in between at the scene of a crime. When a tree bursts out of the chest of a high-ranking imperial officer, it falls to Ana and Dinios to figure out who killed him before the mastermind strikes again.

Many moons — some full, some half, some with silhouettes of people’s face on them — array over a red cover for Kelly Link’s The Book of Love. Image: Random House

The Book of Love by Kelly Link

Feb. 13

Clocking in at a whopping 640 pages, Kelly Link’s upcoming novel The Book of Love is by far the longest title on this list and one of the most eagerly anticipated for fans of all things H.P. Lovecraft. Set in the picturesque seaside town of Lovesend, Massachusetts, The Book of Love tells the story of three friends — Laura, Daniel, and Mo — who mysteriously reappear in a high school classroom after vanishing without a trace the year before. Stranger still is the fact that they are not alone. With them is their music teacher, who proposes that they take on a series of magical tasks in order to ensure that their return to this world is permanent.

The catch? They aren’t allowed to tell anyone where they’ve been, or else everything will fall apart.

A horse disintegrates into a skeleton against a red backdrop on the cover of T. Kingfisher’s What Feasts at Night. Image: Tor Nightfire

What Feasts at Night (Sworn Soldier #2) by T. Kingfisher

Feb. 13

Alex Easton, Angus, and resident mycology expert Miss Potter return once again in this breathtaking (pun very much intended) addition to the Sworn Soldier series from the delightfully spooky mind of T. Kingfisher. Not long after the harrowing events that took place at Usher Manor, Alex and their companions arrive at the lodge they spent time at after the Gallacian war. When the party arrives, they discover the lodge has long been abandoned, the caretaker is dead, and that the surrounding grounds are wreathed in a deeply unsettling and seemingly impenetrable — and definitely supernatural — silence.

A pair of hands holds a rose. Grass grows from their arms, and they appear to be wearing black. It is all framed inside an oval frame, on the cover of Katherine Arden’s The Warm Hands of Ghosts.

The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden

Feb. 13

In her upcoming, heart-wrenching paranormal historical fiction novel The Warm Hands of Ghosts, Katherine Arden trades the frozen Russian wilderness of her Winternight trilogy for the desolate trenches of World War I. In the wake of tragedy, Laura Iven — a former field nurse — receives news that her younger brother has died in combat. But something about the letter doesn’t ring true and Laura, determined to discover the truth, returns to the frontline as a volunteer at a hospital in order to find her brother and bring him home.

Animals with skulls for faces prance around a forest-like image in the cover for Premee Mohamed’s The Butcher of the Forest Image: Tor

The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed

Feb. 27

When the children of a bloodthirsty foreign tyrant make the mistake of wandering into the Elmever, a dangerous stretch of forest bordering the kingdom, it falls to a jaded and weary woman by the name of Veris Thorn to retrieve them. Locals know that once you set foot in the Elmever, you never come back. But Veris has done exactly that, and has no choice but to set foot in the forest once again in order to keep what’s left of her own family safe. I recently had the pleasure of reading The Butcher of the Forest and am pleased to say that the Grimm brothers can’t hold a candle to Premee Mohamed and her fever dream of a fantasy novella.

A gray figure, likely a statue, lies on its side against a red backdrop in the cover for Marina Yuszczuk’s Thirst. We see the figure from thigh to shoulder Image: Dutton

Thirst by Marina Yuszczuk (translated by Heather Cleary)

March 5

Written by Marina Yuszczuk and translated by Heather Cleary, Thirst marks the arrival of an exciting new voice in Gothic literature that readers are sure to enjoy sinking their teeth into. Set in Buenos Aires during the 1900s and modern day, Thirst follows the story of two very different women with a magnetic attraction to one another, for better or for worse. One is a young woman struggling to come to grips with her mother’s terminal illness. The other is a vampire who has watched the rise and fall of great cities for hundreds of years.

Two astronauts approach a third in the colorful cover image of Hao Jingfang’s Jumpnauts Image: Simon & Schuster

Jumpnauts by Hao Jingfang (translated by Ken Liu)

March 12

For years, scientists have tried to prove (or disprove) whether or not there is intelligent life beyond our own galaxy, but what if the aliens have been here, hidden on planet Earth, the entire time? In Jumpnauts, the Pacific League of Nations and the Atlantic League of Nations have been in heavy competition with one another to achieve first contact with a mysterious alien race. Neither is expecting a third party that has existed beneath their feet in an ancient castle for thousands of years to make contact with them first.

A group of people holding guns stand on the top of a building in an apocalyptic wasteland in the cover for Cascade Failure by L.M. Sagas. Image: Tor

Cascade Failure by L.M. Sagas

March 19

Found family is, frankly, one of the best and most important tropes that any sci-fi or fantasy novel can have. L.M. Sagas’ gritty space adventure Cascade Failure features a wide array of lovable misfits who come to depend on one another in the way all found families eventually do. Fast-paced, fun, and told through multiple points of view, Cascade Failure tells the story of the crew of the Ambit — a ragtag group that includes a deserter, an AI pilot, and a trigger-happy XO, just to name a few — as they respond to a distress call from an abandoned planet and uncover the mystery waiting for them there.

A young person holds a lamp in darkness, but that darkness is actually the looming figure of a witch, in the cover for John Wistwell’s Someone You Can Build a Nest in. Image: Daw Books

Someone You Can Build a Nest In by John Wiswell

April 2

There’s a chance you’re already familiar with Nebula and Locus award-winning author, John Wiswell, his insightful and funny tweets about writing, and his myriad short stories. John’s long-awaited debut novel, Someone You Can Build a Nest In, arrives in April and is a delightful mashup of horror, fantasy, and romance.

Shesheshen is a shape-shifter who spends her days as nothing more than an amorphous blob, peaceful and alone in the depths of a manor house. All of that changes, however, when she’s forced to make a body for herself out of scrap material (mostly old bones) and meets Homily, a charming and kind human being who mistakes Shesheshen for a fellow human.

An astronaut walks in a dark space station with blood on the floor in the cover for S.A. Barnes’ Ghost Station. Image: Tor Nightfire

Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes

April 9

If you’re anything like me and you can’t get enough of horror stories set in outer space — think Aliens, Event Horizon, and Mission to Mars — then Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes should be at the very top of your TBR pile.

After dedicating her life to the study of ERS (a fictional, space-induced condition that results in violent outbursts), psychologist Dr. Ophelia Bray has been assigned to keep an eye on a ragtag crew as they explore a distant planet that was hastily abandoned by its previous inhabitants. While their investigation goes according to plan at first, things take a shocking and violent turn when one of their own is brutally murdered. With nowhere to run and no one to trust, it soon becomes clear that Ophelia might be the only one who can save her crew before it’s too late.

An insect crawls on a bejeweled hand in the cover for Leigh Bardugo’s The Familiar. Image: Flatiron Books

The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo

April 9

As someone who absolutely adores Leigh Bardugo’s Alex Stern series and has been on the hunt for something to tide me over until the next book comes out, I damn near lost my mind when I heard the news about her upcoming novel The Familiar. Set during the Spanish Golden Age, The Familiar tells the story of Luzia Cotado, a serving girl with latent magical abilities that she uses to help her get through the day. When Luzia’s mistress discovers her power, she’s suddenly thrust into a dangerous world of holy men, thieves, charlatans, and magic beyond her wildest dreams.

A woman, wearing gold, holds her arm up in the very gold-covered cover for Xiran Jay Zhao’s Heavenly Tyrant Image: Tundra

Heavenly Tyrant (Iron Widow #2) by Xiran Jay Zhao

April 30

If you’re a fan of Xiran Jay Zhao’s blood-soaked, Neon Genesis Evangelion-inspired first novel, Iron Widow, then chances are you’ve been counting down the days until Heavenly Tyrant hits shelves. After almost a yearlong publication delay, Heavenly Tyrant’s release date is swiftly approaching, proving that good things really do come to those who wait. This time around Zetian finds herself forced to ally with a dangerous man in order to protect those that she loves, all while navigating violent political upheaval and her newfound power in Huaxia.

A young girl holds up a playing card and a pocket watch in a gorgeous drawn cover for Park Seolyeon’s A Magical Girl Retires. Image: HarperVia

A Magical Girl Retires by Park Seolyeon (translated by Anton Hur)

April 30

Everyone loves the idea of being a magical girl, but being a magical girl isn’t all sparkly outfit changes, special powers, and talking animal companions. They still have to deal with everyday issues such as world-ending levels of climate change, job hunting, and credit card debt, just like everyone else. This is all much to the chagrin of the down-and-out millennial protagonist of A Magical Girl Retires. Park Seolyeon (with award-winning translator Anton Hur) has crafted a clever take on magical girl genre that fans and newcomers alike will both enjoy.

Cover image for Stuart Turton’s The Last Murder at the End of the World, showing some boats on the water, a lighthouse in the distance, and mountains of many, many different colors. Image: Sourcebooks Landmark

The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

May 21

A mashup of apocalyptic science fiction and suspenseful murder mystery, The Last Murder at the End of the World is set on an island occupied by 122 villagers and 3 brilliant scientists. The island itself is surrounded by a bank of deadly fog that has swept across the planet, killing everyone it touches. When one of the scientists is brutally murdered, the island’s remaining occupants discover that they only have 92 hours before the security system keeping them safe fails.

I’ve been a huge fan of Stuart Turton and his madcap mystery novels since The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle first hit shelves. (I still regularly think about the plot twist in that one.) His upcoming thriller might be his best and most intriguing yet.

A robot holds a teapot in a destroyed cityscape, as the moon lingers, in the cover of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Service Model. Image: Tor

Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

June 4

Perfect for fans of discussing the morality and ethics of I, Robot and the much-beloved and thoroughly chaotic Murderbot Diaries, Adrian Tchaikovsky’s upcoming novel Service Model is a tale of murder, mayhem, and artificial labor gone rogue. When a robot that knows nothing of the world outside of the house where it works murders its owner, it’s forced to go on the run, something that it didn’t know was at all possible. What it discovers is a world that is slowly falling apart, and robots not unlike itself who are unsure what to do once humans disappear for good.

A bloody eye is skewered by a chopstick in the cover for Monika Ki’ms The Eyes are the Best Part Image: Erewhon Books

The Eyes Are the Best Part by Monika Kim

June 25

At least once a year a book hits shelves that can best be described as “absolutely unhinged,” and The Eyes Are the Best Part by Monika Kim promises to be just that. This horror debut is about a woman named Ji-won who tries to keep what’s left of her family from falling apart after her father leaves them. Ji-won’s mother tells her that consuming fish eyes will bring her luck, and soon after she begins experiencing strange dreams in which she eats human eyes. Things take a turn for the even stranger when her mother begins dating a white man with striking blue eyes and Ji-won develops an unhealthy obsession with them.

A figure is surrounded by what looks like demon spirits in the cover for Genoveva Dimova’s Foul Days Image: Tor

Foul Days (The Witch’s Compendium of Monsters #1) by Genoveva Dimova

June 25

Taking inspiration from Bulgarian folklore, the strange and terrifying monsters found in The Witcher series, and fellow fantasy authors such as Naomi Novik and Katherine Arden, Foul Days by Genoveva Dimova is one of my most anticipated novels of 2024.

Set during the 12 days after Christmas, when monsters are free to roam, Foul Days tells the story of Kosara, a young witch who finds herself at odds with Zmey, the Tsar of Monsters — a dragon who can disguise himself as a handsome man. Determined to leave Zmey and the walled city where they live far behind, Kosara trades her shadow for illegal passage over the wall. Life on the outside isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, though, and Kosara soon finds herself contending with a magical wasting sickness, an honorable detective who may or may not be on her side, and a plethora of monsters, human and otherwise.

A slumped over figure crawls along a pile of bodies in a red cover for Christopher Buehlman’s The Daughters’ War. Image: Tor

The Daughters’ War by Christopher Buehlman

June 25

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about or recommending Christopher Buehlman’s The Blacktongue Thief since I first read it in 2021 (if you haven’t picked up a copy yet, then you’re missing out on one of the best fantasy novels to hit shelves in the last five years). Needless to say, Buehlman’s The Daughters’ War is one of my most anticipated novels of 2023. Set in the harrowing, war-torn years preceding the events of The Blacktongue Thief, The Daughters’ War focuses on Galva as she goes against her family’s wishes and joins the Raven Knights (a group of ruthless warriors who ride into battle on the backs of horse-sized corvids). Together, Galva and her fellow soldiers will have to survive the goblin-infested cities that await them in the hopes to save what is left of humanity.

A bloody hammer against neon title text on the cover of Chuck Tingle’s Bury Your Gays Image: Tor Nightfire

Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle

July 9

Best known as the internet-famous author of extremely niche erotica (with the occasional foray into horror) who keeps his identity hidden behind sunglasses and a pink mask, Chuck Tingle is back with a new novel, Bury Your Gays, a terrifying, tongue-in-cheek play on a tragic literary trope. When a screenwriter by the name of Misha — which is almost certainly a wink and nod to a certain fandom in particular — is asked to kill off a gay character in the upcoming finale of a show he’s working on, he refuses. It’s the right thing to do, obviously, but now Misha has a target on his back and, worse still, creatures from the horror movies that he worked on years ago are hunting him and his friends down across Los Angeles.

Two birds fight as guts spill out in the cover for Nicholas Belardes’ The Deading Image: Erewhon Books

The Deading by Nicholas Belardes

July 23

What’s not to love about (and be terrified by) a dystopian horror novel that is described as Under the Dome meets The Last of Us? In The Deading by Nicholas Belardes, a picturesque fishing village is turned on its head when a mysterious contagion that appears to have come from the depths of the ocean begins to alter their daily lives. While the disease first only seems to infect local wildlife, it quickly spreads to residents of the village, causing them to collapse and die before they come back to life.

A vast sci-fi fantasy scape, with long jagged cliffs stretching into the sky, on the cover for James S.A. Corey’s The Mercy of Gods. Image: Orbit

The Mercy of Gods by James S.A. Corey

Aug. 6

The iconic duo that writes together under the pseudonym James S.A. Corey (best known for creating the phenomenal series The Expanse) are joining forces once again for an epic new sci-fi venture. The upcoming first novel, The Mercy of Gods, focuses on a planet with a long-forgotten history and a group of humans who have been taken captive by an aggressive alien species. The Mercy of Gods promises to be action-packed and a gripping tale of survival, humanity, and rebellion.

A winged creature appears to come out of a house on a cliff in the cover for TJ Klune’s Somewhere Beyond the Sea. Image: Tor

Somewhere Beyond the Sea by TJ Klune

Sept. 10

I don’t want to go and wish 2024 away before it’s even started, but knowing that a sequel to The House in the Cerulean Sea is coming out in September is a good enough reason to do just that. Arthur Parnassus, Linus Baker, and the six adorable (and occasionally terrifying) magical children who live on the islands they call home all return in this heartwarming sequel to TJ Klune’s bestseller.