Cover detail from Dread Nation by Justina Ireland.
Image: Balzer + Bray

This month brings a deluge of new books, including the latest from genre titan John Scalzi, as well as tales involving dark magic in post-apocalyptic America, a very high-stakes intergalactic talent competition, and ex-con construction workers trying to avoid getting murdered on Mars. Read on!

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The Great God Pan and Other Horror Stories by Arthur Machen, edited by Aaron Worth

A newly-assembled and edited collection of works by the influential 19th century occult horror author and mystic, including his 1894 novella The Great God Pan, 1895 novella The Three Imposters, and a selection of prose poems and later works. (April 1)

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The Barrow Will Send What it May by Margaret Killjoy

Demon-hunter Danielle Cain returns for her second adventure; this time, she and her crew visit a small-town occult library with a staff who’ve all died and come back to life. That would already be weird enough, but then a necromancer with doomsday on the brain takes a keen interest in their investigation. (April 3)

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The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Three edited by Neil Clarke

Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning editor Clarke presents a short story anthology that gathers stellar scifi tales from magazines, blogs, websites, single-author collections, and more, with work from both established and emerging authors. (April 3)

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The Body Library by Jeff Noon

In this sequel to A Man of Shadows, investigator John Nyquist is lured into a murder case after hearing the whispers of the victim’s corpse—a strange circumstance made possible by the shifting, blurry reality of the city that surrounds them. (April 3)

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Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray

In this sequel to Defy the Stars, interstellar soldier Noemi gets a chance to redeem herself in the eyes of her people—but when the plan goes awry, she needs the help of her former travel partner Abel, the cybernetic man she thought she’d never get to see again. (April 3)

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Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

This alternate history tale imagines that the dead rose up from the battlefield at Gettysburg, resulting in laws that force black, Native American, and mixed-race children to devote themselves to anti-zombie combat. One young woman caught up in this grim reality secretly plans a better life for herself—until she’s caught up in a conspiracy even scarier than the rampaging undead. (April 3)

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Firewalkers by Chris Roberson

In this sequel to Firewalk—penned by the co-creator of Vertigo’s iZombie comic—an FBI agent and a police detective team up on a cold serial-killer case that seems to be tied to a drug epidemic in the coastal city of Recondito. Not coincidentally, they discover, the town also happens to contain an entry point for demonic visitors from other dimensions. (April 3)

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Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence

The author’s second entry in his Book of the Ancestor series follows a convent-trained young woman who must choose either the path of prayer or the path of the blade and fist. And, of course, there are plenty of complications on her mystical journey: assassins, vengeful rich men, and a treacherous wannabe empress, to name just a few. (April 3)

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The Night Dahlia by R.S. Belcher

A crisis of faith has turned Laytham Ballard away from the Nightwise, the group of mages that strives to keep humanity safe from supernatural evils. Now using his skills to work freelance, he’s hired to track down the missing daughter of a faerie mob boss—a colorful and dangerous quest that forces him to confront some uncomfortable truths about his own past. (April 3)

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The Overstory by Richard Powers

The National Book Award winner weaves a tale of nine strangers who all have extraordinary and magical experiences involving trees—including several life-saving encounters—and are then drawn together to save a virgin forest that’s about to be wiped out. (April 3)

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Witchy Winter by D.J. Butler

The sequel to Witchy Eye follows Sarah Calhoun’s journey to win the Serpent Throne in her father’s kingdom, as well as the struggles of a pirate-battling New Orleans priest and a hunter’s quest to find a troubled young healer who may have the power to save his ailing infant. (April 3)

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Wonderblood by Julia Whicker

In 500 years, America has become a diseased-ravaged wasteland—and the few human survivors roam the post-apocalyptic landscape worshiping NASA relics, practicing magic, and putting their hopes in blood sacrifice. (April 3)

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Fire Dance by Ilana C. Myer

Set in the world of the author’s Last Song Before Night, this standalone fantasy novel follows a novice enchantress as she’s drawn into her homeland’s ongoing, politically-charged war against a group of deadly magicians known as Fire Dancers. (April 10)

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Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier

In a kingdom haunted by the memory of its two long-lost boy princes, a young mapmaker sets out on the high seas and discovers a clue that may solve the royal mystery—though at his peril, as not everybody wants the truth to come out. (April 10)

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One Way by S.J. Morden

A crew of workers—all ex-cons—constructing a new base on Mars start falling victim to deadly “accidents” that don’t quite add up. Can the remaining astronauts (including the savviest among them, a former architect who did time for murder) figure out who’s picking them off before they’re all laid to waste? (April 10)

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Rebellion’s Fury by Jay Allan

The sequel to military science fiction saga Flames of Rebellion picks up as the colonists of Haven intensify their rebellion against Federal America, taking back their adopted new planet. But how long before their oppressors return to Earth, regroup, and hit them even harder? (April 10)

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Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

In the aftermath of a terrible intergalactic war, a new kind of battle emerges: the Metagalactic Grand Prix, a kind of Rick and Morty-ish, Eurovision-type spectacle that pits different sentient races against each other in a high-stakes talent competition. Can Earth’s rock ‘n’ roll contingent score a victory on their first try, and save the human race in the process? (April 10)

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Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman

A woman with an odd condition—her many “deaths” over time are actually deep comas from which she eventually awakens—is caught between the two men in her life: her unscrupulous husband and the outlaw who truly loves her. And, of course, she’s also caught between the world of the living and the world of the dead, a place she’s determined to fight her way out of once and for all. (April 10)

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The Atrocities by Jeremy C. Shipp

In this Gothic tale, a governess arrives at her new post only to find that her young student is actually a ghost. (April 17)

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Before Mars by Emma Newman

A woman undergoes a long, grueling journey to her new job on Mars, only to have an eerie sense of déjà vu once she arrives. What’s really going on in the fledgling Red Planet colony—a sinister corporate conspiracy, or a nightmare taking place entirely in her troubled mind? Read an excerpt here. (April 17)

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Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller

Climate change leads to the construction of a floating city in the Arctic Circle, but it’s a new kind of Wild West with crime, poverty, corruption, and disease seeping into the community. Hope arrives when a stranger rides into town—not on a horse, but on a killer whale. (April 17)

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The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp

A New Orleans street magician with real powers decides to hit the pause button after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, but he’s drawn back into the city’s mystical realm when the Fortune god—to whom he owed a great debt—is murdered. (April 17)

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From Unseen Fire by Cass Morris

This historical fantasy debut is set in an alternate version of ancient Rome, as a talented young mage strives to protect her people in a society filled with dangerous secrets and sinister sorcery. (April 17)

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Head On by John Scalzi

The acclaimed author (Old Man’s War) returns with this follow-up to 2014's Lock In; it’s about a brutal sport played by robotic competitors in which the objective is to rip off the head of one’s opponent. But on-field violence leads to a real-life murder, and a pair of FBI agents must infiltrate the high-stakes, big-money world of futuristic sports to solve the case. (April 17)

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The Long Sunset by Jack McDevitt

In this latest in the Nebula winner’s Academy series, the space program has begun refocusing its work away from exploration—until a musical message from an alien race piques the interest of one of its most decorated (and determined) pilots. (April 17)

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Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Deprived of her royal birthright after her mother, the Queen, is murdered in front of her, a girl grows up outwardly playing by the rules, but with a growing plan for vengeance on her mind. (April 24)

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The Fandom by Anna Day

Superfan Violet heads to a comic convention pumped to celebrate her favorite mega-popular book and movie franchise—but fun turns to peril when she magically slips into the story itself and accidentally causes the death of the heroine. Soon, it’s up to Violet to save the make-believe day for real. (April 24)

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Publish and Perish by Phillipa Bornikova

Vampire attorney Linnet Ellery returns in an adventure that sees her trying to rescue her ex (an elf) with the help of her new love (a human, who also happens to be her boss). Meanwhile, she’s grappling with controlling her own mysterious powers, which seem to be more dangerous than anything else. (April 24)

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Time Was by Ian McDonald

Two men fall in love while working on a top-secret British project during World War II—but their clandestine relationship grows even more complicated when they find themselves traveling separately through time, desperately trying to figure out a way to reconnect. (April 24)

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I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land by Connie Willis

A blogger who writes about how much he hates nostalgia visits New York City to pitch his book to publishers—but instead finds himself in a mysterious bookstore, a place that stirs up feelings he thought he’d long since cynically stomped into oblivion. (April 30)

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