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All These New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Will Help Jump-Start Your New Year's Resolution to Read More

Detail of the cover for Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper.
Detail of the cover for Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper.
Image: Arthur A. Levine Books

January 2020 is here, and it arrives bringing tons of new reading material to propel you into alternate dimensions, to war-torn planets, into realms of strange magic, and so much more, with books by Seanan McGuire, Kameron Hurley, R.A. Salvatore, William Gibson, and over 30 others.

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City of Stone and Silence by Django Wexler

The Wells of Sorcery trilogy continues with this sequel to Ship of Smoke and Steel, as combat magician Isoka schemes to steal a ghost ship in order to save her sister, Tori—who’s just beginning to embrace her own mystical powers. (January 7)

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Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

The fifth Wayward Children book finds Jack—who’s just had a curious brush with death—drawn back to Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children, where she’ll need the help of all her friends to diagnose and overcome her strange new condition. (January 7)

The God Game by Danny Tobey

When a group of teens start playing a mysterious video game that’s run by an AI with a God complex, the virtual world begins to flood the real world with thrilling rewards—which is awesome, until the game also starts making disturbing demands and unleashing grave consequences. (January 7)

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Lady Hotspur by Tessa Gratton

In this feminist riff on Shakespeare, a kingdom in turmoil sees two prospective rulers vie for the throne, female princes who were best friends as kids but have since found themselves on opposite sides of the battlefield. (January 7)

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Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughin

A humble peasant girl unexpectedly becomes the ruler of a kingdom and finds life in the palace to be even more perilous than her former life on the streets. (January 7)

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Penric’s Progress by Lois McMaster Bujold

The latest from the six-time Hugo winner collects three of her novellas about a nobleman who solves magical mysteries as he grows into his life as a scholar and sorcerer. (January 7)

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Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling

Newly translated into English, this German bestseller is a near-future satire set in “the best country on Earth,” QualityLand, where algorithms determine every part of how every citizen lives his or her life—until one machine scrapper takes it upon himself to rebel. (January 7)

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Resurgence by C.J. Cherryh

The 20th (!) book in the Foreigner saga picks up the story of Bren Cameron, tasked with keeping the uneasy peace in an alien state that’s also home to human refugees. (January 7)

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Shadowshaper Legacy by Daniel José Older

The award-winning Shadowshaper Cypher YA series concludes as Sierra and her friends prepare for the supernatural battle that’s coming for them—but she’ll have to confront a secret from her family’s past before she can protect anyone in the present. (January 7)

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Wyntertide by Andrew Caldecott

The second Rotherweird book returns to the independent English town that’s been hiding a deadly secret for centuries—and as the Winter Solstice approaches, dark forces from the past have started to make their presence felt once again. (January 7)

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A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen

Six years after a global pandemic plunged the world into chaos, four friends (including a former pop star, a onetime event planner, and a father and daughter) who’re already struggling with life in post-apocalyptic San Francisco must band together when news of another outbreak looms. (January 14)

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The Broken Heavens by Kameron Hurley

The author’s epic Worldbreaker Saga concludes as invaders from a parallel dimension take over an ancient temple to try and figure out how to seal off the pathway to their world. This war can only have one winner, but which side will triumph? (January 14)

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Burn the Dark by S.A. Hunt

This tale dubbed “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets Stranger Things” kicks off a new action-horror series about a YouTube celebrity whose popular videos about hunting witches may seem like fiction—but are actually totally real. (January 14)

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The Conference of the Birds: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children #5 by Ransom Riggs

The popular YA series continues with this fifth installment in the series, following main character Jacob Portman into his future...and the unknown. (January 14)

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The End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde

In this tale shaped by climate change, a woman sets sail across the ocean in 2019; two decades later, as a drought ravages Southern Europe, a father and daughter find her boat—along with its abandoned, but still significant, cargo. (January 14)

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The Fugitive and the Vanishing Man by Rod Duncan

An accused murderer and mutineer flees from Liverpool to an alt-history version of the American frontier, where she meets a king who believes he has a weapon that’ll help him take over the world. (January 14)

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A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris

The second Gunnie Rose book—set in an alt-history U.S. where magic is real but feared—sees gunslinger Lizbeth on a mission to deliver, then recover, a crate carrying valuable cargo into her world’s version of the Old South. (January 14)

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Strange Exit by Parker Peeveyhouse

After a nuclear war, Earth’s surviving population lives on a space ship in orbit, their bodies in stasis while their minds inhabit a shared virtual reality. But not everybody believes their life is just a simulation, which means the passengers will never be able to wake up—unless one determined teenage girl can persuade everyone of the truth. (January 14)

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The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

A lonely woman captaining an extended mission among the stars allows a frightened, mute boy to come aboard, and—with the help of an ancient spaceship designer—they start to build the first family that either of them can remember. But the boy has special gifts, and there are people in his past that don’t intend on letting him go. (January 14)

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Zed by Joanna Kavenna

In this satirical novel, set in a world that’s been perfectly designed by its ruling mega-corporation, “human error” is blamed when a robot kills a person. Has the corporation failed, or has it been hacked? And which scenario is actually worse? (January 14)

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Agency by William Gibson 

The influential author returns with a sci-fi thriller about an “app whisperer” who signs on to beta test a new AI system that’s more far powerful than anyone realizes. Meanwhile, on a different timeline 100 years in the future, post-apocalyptic researchers peer into the past and influence the events they see taking place there. (January 21)

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Devil Darling Spy by Matt Killeen

The heroine of Orphan Monster Spy returns as a spy embedded in Nazi high society—until her assignment takes her from Berlin to Central Africa, where a sinister doctor is rumored to be concocting a biological weapon earmarked for mass murder. (January 21)

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Heart of Black Ice by Terry Goodkind

The Nicci Chronicles conclude with a final war in the Old World, as a new threat rises from a massive army of barbarian raiders who attack from the sea. (January 21)

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The Iron Will of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

This sequel to The Epic Crush of Genie Lo sees the frazzled academic-slash-Guardian of California facing a new crisis emanating from an alternate reality. She’ll need the Jade Emperor to help her save the universe, but when he’s nowhere to be found—again—she teams up with a gaggle of Chinese gods instead to set things right. (January 21)

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A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff

A new epic fantasy series from a debut author begins, as an exiled princess plots her return to the throne by learning the magic that is her destiny. She’ll need some help from allies both mortal and supernatural to achieve her goal. (January 21)

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Remembrance by Rita Woods

This historical fiction (with a side of magical realism) debut follows three different women in three different time periods (present-day Ohio, Haiti in 1791, and New Orleans in 1857) as they grapple with racism and other issues across the centuries.

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Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

A girl who can see the future must decide how to best use her gifts when her brother is incarcerated. (January 21)

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Stars Beyond by S.K. Dunstall

The Stars Uncharted series continues as the ragtag crew of the spaceship Another Road (a replacement for The Road, after it exploded) stockpile weapons in preparation for their biggest score yet—if they can evade all the government and corporate agents who are determined to get in their way. (January 21)

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The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg

A woman must bind her soul to a mysting in order to save her life, but their lasting bond means he suddenly feels the pain of being mortal—and if he fades away, her soul will be lost forever. (January 21)

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Rogue Princess by B.R. Meyers

A princess runs away to avoid her dreaded arranged marriage—only to discover her spaceship’s carrying a stowaway. Can she and her surprise travel companion, a snarky thief, put aside their differences when they discover a conspiracy that threatens their planet? (January 22)

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The Circus by Jonas Karlsson

The life of a mild-mannered baker takes a strange turn when his childhood friend suddenly pops back into his life, only to go missing—like, actually missing—when he volunteers to be part of a magician’s disappearing act. (January 28)

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Diamond City by Francesca Flores

After her parents are murdered, a young woman becomes an assassin for hire and slowly finds her place in a city filled with high stakes, dark magic, and sinister foes. (January 28)

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Highfire by Eoin Colfer

The latest fantasy tale from the author of Artemis Fowl introduces Vern, “a vodka-drinking, Flashdance loving dragon” who’s spending his retirement years hiding out in the Louisiana bayou. Life is pretty lonely—until he crosses paths with a 15-year-old ne’er-do-well who’s being chased by the corrupt local sheriff. (January 28)

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Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Described as “a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes,” this surreal novel follows a man who moves through life seeing himself as “Generic Asian man” but dreams of being the ultimate “Kung Fu Guy.” (January 28)

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Prosper’s Demon by K.J. Parker

This fantasy novella is about an exorcist who’ll do anything and everything to get a demon out of person, and the man of science with a possession problem who needs his help. (January 28)

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Song of the Risen God by R.A. Salvatore

A war that could change the whole world looms as the author’s epic fantasy Coven Trilogy concludes. (January 28)

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Warlord by Mel Odom

The Makaum War series continues as Master Sergeant Frank Sage struggles to keep the peace on his perilous jungle planet—but there’s an assassin targeting politicians, and civil unrest threatens to spark off a bloody new conflict. (January 28)

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The Smoke by Simon Ings

Humankind has split into three different species, and a new space race is on to determine which group will make it to the stars first. One man returns to his English hometown to attempt get away from it all in this “near-future tale about love, loss and loneliness in an incomprehensible world.”

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The Best of Elizabeth Bear by Elizabeth Bear

The award-winning speculative fiction author (Hammered, Undertow, the Eternal Sky trilogy) presents this retrospective collection of 27 stories and novellas, including the Hugo-winning “Tideland” and “Shoggoths in Bloom.” (January 31)

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DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

Both “Agency” and “The Broken Heavens" have been delayed so many times I’m not sure I’ll believe they are real till I actually read them.