A new year brings with it a wealth of new books. If you are a fan of science fiction or fantasy, here is taste of what is coming out in 2018.
Elysium Fire (Prefect Dreyfus Emergency #2) – Alastair Reynolds
Expected Publication: January
I always anticipate a new book from Alastair Reynolds, especially those set in the Revelation Space universe. Alastair Reynolds has a way of showcasing a dazzling array of technology (from vast spaceships to the manipulation of nano-technology) and political viewpoints. Elysium Fire brings back the Tom Dreyfus, the protagonist of The Prefect (which I would consider one of Alastair Reynolds best books). If you are looking to read an imaginative hard science fiction novel, then this should slot right into your ‘to read’ list.
But even utopia needs a police force. For the citizens of the Glitter Band that organization is Panoply, and the prefects are its operatives.
Prefect Tom Dreyfus has a new emergency on his hands. Across the habitats and their hundred million citizens, people are dying suddenly and randomly, victims of a bizarre and unprecedented malfunction of their neural implants. And these “melters” leave no clues behind as to the cause of their deaths…
As panic rises in the populace, a charismatic figure is sowing insurrection, convincing a small but growing number of habitats to break away from the Glitter Band and form their own independent colonies.
Wrath of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #2) – Brian McClellan
Expected publication: March
The continuation of Brian McClellan’s second trilogy promises to bring more of his brilliant world building and memorable characters. With Sins of Empire, book one in this trilogy, coming to an epic conclusion, I am very much looking forward to seeing how Lady Flint, Michel Bravis and Ben Styke rise to the challenge (trying not to give any spoilers). I would also say that gunpowder mages remain one of my favorite magic users.
The country is in turmoil. With the capital city occupied, half a million refugees are on the march, looking for safety on the frontier, accompanied by Lady Flint’s soldiers. But escaping war is never easy, and soon the battle may find them, whether they are prepared or not.
Back in the capital, Michel Bravis smuggles even more refugees out of the city. But internal forces are working against him. With enemies on all sides, Michel may be forced to find help with the very occupiers he’s trying to undermine.
Meanwhile, Ben Styke is building his own army. He and his mad lancers are gathering every able body they can find and searching for an ancient artifact that may have the power to turn the tides of war in their favor. But what they find may not be what they’re looking for.
Season of Storms (The Witcher #8) – Andrzej Sapkowski
Expected Publication: April
Ever since playing the original witcher computer game, I’ve taken every opportunity to delve into Geralt’s world. He constantly faces tough decisions, where there is never a ‘good’ choice. I’ve eagerly awaited every witcher book as they are translated from Polish to English, and Season of Storms is no different. The English publication of Season of Storms means that all of Andrzej Sapkowski’s witcher novels are now available outside of their native Polish.
Geralt of Rivia. A witcher whose mission is to protect ordinary people from the monsters created with magic. A mutant who has the task of killing unnatural beings. He uses a magical sign, potions and the pride of every witcher — two swords, steel and silver. But what would happen if Geralt lost his weapons?
In this standalone novel, Geralt fights, travels and loves again, Dandelion sings and flies from trouble to trouble, sorcerers are scheming … and across the whole world clouds are gathering – the season of storms is coming…
King of Ashes (The Firemane #1) – Raymond E. Feist
Expected publication: May
The way Raymond E. Feist wove the epic story of the Riftwar Cycle through thirty novels remains to me one of the best fantasy epics written. Though I wouldn’t claim that his writing was without faults, you can’t go past Raymond E. Feist’s work if you are looking for a story of monumental proportions.
For centuries, the five greatest kingdoms of North and South Tembria, twin continents on the world of Garn, have coexisted in peace. But the balance of power is destroyed when four of the kingdoms violate an ancient covenant and betray the fifth: Ithrace, the Kingdom of Flames, ruled by Steveren Langene, known as “the Firemane” for his brilliant red hair. As war engulfs the world, Ithrace is destroyed and the Greater Realms of Tembria are thrust into a dangerous struggle for supremacy.
As a Free Lord, Baron Daylon Dumarch owes allegiance to no king. When an abandoned infant is found hidden in Daylon’s pavilion, he realizes that the child must be the missing heir of the slain Steveren. The boy is valuable—and vulnerable. A cunning and patient man, Daylon decides to keep the baby’s existence secret, and sends him to be raised on the Island of Coaltachin, home of the so-called Kingdom of Night, where the powerful and lethal Nocusara, the “Hidden Warriors,” legendary assassins and spies, are trained.
Years later, another orphan of mysterious provenance, a young man named Declan, earns his Masters rank as a weapons smith. Blessed with intelligence and skill, he unlocks the secret to forging King’s Steel, the apex of a weapon maker’s trade known by very few. Yet this precious knowledge is also deadly, and Declan is forced to leave his home to safeguard his life. Landing in Lord Daylon’s provinces, he hopes to start anew.
Soon, the two young men—an unknowing rightful heir to a throne and a brilliantly talented young swordsmith—will discover that their fates, and that of Garn, are entwined. The legendary, long-ago War of Betrayal has never truly ended . . . and they must discover the secret of who truly threatens their world.
Thrawn: Alliances (Star Wars) – Timothy Zahn
expected publication: June
Thrawn is back! He was one of my favorite characters from the pre-Disney Star Wars novels and I was happy they brought him back into the Star Wars canon. We know that this novel will be pairing Thrawn up with Darth Vader on a secret mission, but there is little more detail currently available.
The sequel to New York Times bestseller Thrawn, Thrawn: Alliances will continue to follow the rise of Grand Admiral Thrawn to the heights of Imperial power—and accompany him into the past, witnessing his first encounter with the man who will one day become Darth Vader.
The Empire of Ashes (The Draconis Memoria #3) – Anthony Ryan
expected publication: july
When I read Anthony Ryan’s first novel Blood Song I knew that he was someone to keep an eye on. Unfortunately, his first trilogy fizzled out to an unsatisfactory conclusion, but Anthony Ryan showed enough talent that I took the time to start his next trilogy. The first two books of The Draconis Memoria have been a solid and imaginative combination of magic and technology. The Empire of Ashes has the potential to be a great conclusion.
For hundreds of years, the Ironship Trading Syndicate was fueled by drake blood–and protected by the Blood-blessed, those few who could drink it and wield fearsome powers. But now the very thing that sustained the corporate world threatens to destroy it.
A drake of unimaginable power has risen, and it commands an army of both beasts and men. Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and Ironship captain Corrick Hilemore, spread to disparate corners of the world, must rely upon the new powers and knowledge they have gained at great price to halt its forces–or face the end of all they know.
The Light of All That Falls (Licanius Trilogy #3) – James Islington
expected publication: august
I picked up James Islington’s first book The Shadow of What Was Lost because I was intrigued by the cover. The only other book I’ve picked up solely passed on the cover was The Name of the Wind. Both these books turned out to be great choices. I just finished reading book two of the trilogy and am itching to get my hands on the next installment. James Islington shows a great sense of world building and the more I read about his characters, the more I want them to succeed.
Banes now stalk Andarra, while in Ilin Illan, the political machinations of a generation come to a head as Wirr’s newfound ability forces his family’s old enemies into action.
Imprisoned and alone in a strange land, Davian is pitted against the remaining Venerate as they work tirelessly to undo Asha’s sacrifice – even as he struggles with what he has learned about the friend he chose to set free.
And Caeden, now facing the consequences of his centuries-old plan, must finally confront its reality – heartbroken at how it began, and devastated by how it must end.
No publication dates
As is always the case, there are books that don’t currently have a publication date that we can only hope come out this year. Some of these have been sitting in this category for a long time (I’m looking at you, George R. R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss), while others are relatively new announcements (Neil Gaiman’s follow-up to Neverwhere)
- The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire #6) – George R. R. Martin
- The Doors of Stone (The Kingkiller Chronicles #3) – Patrick Rothfuss
- The Seven Sisters (Neverwhere #2) – Neil Gaiman
- Peace Talks (The Dresden Files #16) – Jim Butcher
- The Thorn of Emberlain (The Gentleman Bastard Sequence #4) – Scott Lynch
Let me know in the comments which new releases you are looking forward to this year!