1. The Emperor’s Blades, Brian Staveley
Release Date: January 14th.
An assassin kills the Emperor of Annur, and his three children, are forced to keep alive and uncover the identity of their father’s killer.
This is Staveley’s first novel, and it follows a set of interesting characters set in a promising world that’s both original and detailed.
2. Breach Zone, Myke Cole
Release Date: January 28th.
After the events of Cole’s Fortress Frontier, the sorceress Scylla invades New York City, preempting a revolution from former SOC member Oscar Britton and forcing national hero Harlequin to confront his past.
The final book in Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops trilogy looks to end the series with a bang.
3. Annihilation: A Novel, Jeff VanderMeer
Release Date: February 4th.
Jeff VanderMeer made a splash last year when he announced a major deal to publish a new trilogy of books. Area X has been cut off from humanity for decades, and almost every expedition to the location end up dead or damaged after their return. The 12th Expedition arrives and find unexpected and unfathomable secrets there.
VanderMeer has been at the forefront of new Weird Fiction in the last couple of years, and this book looks like it’ll be a major, exciting work in that direction. We’re excited.
4. The Dark Defiles, Richard K. Morgan
Release Date: April 17th.
Goodreads lists this, but not Amazon or Barnes and Noble, so it’s possible this will shift. Morgan’s trilogy, A Land Fit For Heroes has been at the forefront of the grimdark trend, and it all comes to an end with this book.
Morgan’s a fantastic author who’s penned a number of excellent Science Fiction and Fantasy novels - it’ll be interesting to see how he wraps up the sequel to The Cold Commands.
5. Steles of the Sky, Elizabeth Bear
Release Date: April 8th
The third book in Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy finds Re Temur raising a banner against his uncle, as war and plague rise in the world.
There’s been a lot of great press for Bear’s other two novels in this trilogy, Range of Ghosts and Shattered Pillars and this one looks like it’ll wrap everything up in epic fashion.
6. Peacemaker, Marianne De Pierres
Release Date: April 29th .
Virgin Jackson works out of Birrimun Park, the world’s last natural landscape, when she’s assigned a new partner. However, the Company’s holding something back from her.
There’s a lot of early buzz for this book, and it looks as though it’s set in a compelling future Earth.
7. My Real Children, Jo Walton
Release Date: May 20th.
Patricia Cowan has trouble remembering things: a bomb that killed Kennedy in 1963 and when he decided not to run in 1964. She’s living in two versions of history, each with their own triumphs and tragedies.
Walton recently received the Hugo Award for her novel Among Others, and this one looks like it’s particularly intriguing.
8. Skin Game, Jim Butcher
Release Date: May 27th.
Harry Dresden is back for his latest adventure as he’s traded off by Mab to an enemy of his: Nicodemus Archleone. His job? Steal the Holy Grail.
Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series is going strong, and it looks like it’ll be just as excellent as its predecessors.
9. Cibola Burn, James S.A. Corey
Release Date: June 17th.
Following the events of Abbadon’s Gate, humanity has been given the keys to the stars. As settlers depart for a new world, Captain James Holden and his crew must contend with growing tensions between colonists and corporate interests, a deadly disease threatens everyone.
James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series (Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War and Abbadon’s Gate) has gotten progressively better with each book. This is kick-ass space opera at its best and it’s at the top of our list.
10. The Rhesus Chart, Charles Stross
Release Date: July 1st.
Charles Stross’s Landry Files series takes on another genre, this time as Bob Howard takes on vampires.
Stross is an incredible prolific SF author, and his books are continually thought provoking and entertaining. Sign us up for this one.
11. The Widow’s House, Daniel Abraham
Release Date: August 5th.
The fourth entry in Abraham’s The Dagger and the Coin continues one of the best fantasy series out now - a war is splitting a nation, someone must choose a side, while an ancient secret at the root of the war is uncovered.
Abraham’s a fantastic author, and his series has gained considerable critical and popular acclaim.
12. The Magician’s Land, Lev Grossman
Release Date: August 5th
After the events of The Magician King, Quentin Coldwater was cast out of Fillory. now, he’s returning to where his story started, at Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic, his past is about to catch up to him.
Grossman’s The Magicians and The Magician King were two brilliant, modern takes on the fantasy genre, and it looks as though this one will top both of them. We can’t wait.
13. Radiance Catherynne M. Valente
Release Date: August 17th. No cover yet.
A film maker in an alternate history travels throughout an inhabited solar system to document the lives of our nearest neighbors. This book promises to be a “story of love, exploration, family, loss, quantum physics, and silent film.”
Valente has written some incredible books, and this one looks like it’ll be taking on some very unconventional themes.
14. Lock In, John Scalzi
Release Date: August 26th.
A mysterious disease locks its victims in place around the globe. In response, the US undertakes a major scientific initiative, resulting in some new, advanced technologies, including Virtual Reality spaces and the ability for a small number of ‘locked in’ individuals to take over someone else’s body.
John Scalzi is mainly known for his Old Man’s War series and Redshirts. This one looks to be an interesting departure from him.
15. The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin
Release Date: August 2014 (No exact date yet).
A world persists throughout numerous extinction-level events, as life and magic adapt to the frequent upheaval.
Jemisin is one of the best novelists writing right now: her Inheritance trilogy and Dreamblood duology were highly regarded from readers, and this start of a new trilogy looks like it’ll be just as good.
16. Armada, Ernest Cline
Release Date: October 7th.
Zack Lightman is called out of class when men jump out of a spaceship - the video game he’s an expert at isn’t actually a video game, but a simulation. Now, he has to save the world.
Cline’s first novel was Ready Player One, an extremely fun book that’s chock full of geeky Easter eggs. This one looks to be just as nostalgic and entertaining as his first.
17. Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie
Release Date: October 7th. No cover yet.
Leckie’s debut novel, Ancillary Justice, blew the doors off of the SF community when it was released in late 2013. It’s clear Leckie’s a writer to watch, and already, her next book (and its sequel, Ancillary Mercy, due in 2015) are high up on our to-buy list.
18. The Thorn of Emberlain, Scott Lynch
Release Date: November 2014. No exact date yet, no cover yet.
Lynch’s 2013 novel Republic of Thieves was delayed for years, but apparently, this one is on track to be published this year. If it’s anywhere as good as the three preceding novels in the series, this one should be quite a bit of fun.
19. Going Grey, Karen Traviss
Release Date: Early 2014 (No exact date yet, no cover yet.)
Set in the near future, this book follows military contractors, experiments, politics and where it all goes wrong.
Traviss is well known for her Star Wars, Halo and Gears of War tie-in novels, as well as her Wess’Har Wars series: she knows how to do kick-ass military SF. Hopefully, we’ll see this in stores soon.