When We Were Magic
When We Were Magic
Image: Simon Pulse

It’s nearly March, and that means much-anticipated new novels by N.K. Jemisin and Emily St. John Mandel are about to drop. You’ll find both of their books on this list, of course, along with tales of space police, reanimated bodies, magical powers, supernatural murder mysteries, monsters, dragons, and so much more.


Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books
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The Killing Fog by Jeff Wheeler

A new fantasy series begins as orphan-turned-mercenary Bingmei and her crew raid a long-lost tomb on behalf of their employer, a nobleman who collects rare artifacts. But when they accidentally awaken an evil spirit, Bingmei must tap into her magic powers to realize her destiny and save the world. (March 1)

Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

The author’s world of Shadowhunters is the backdrop for this new story about a demon hunter who heads to London determined to clear her father’s name—and avoid an arranged marriage—but becomes drawn into the city’s supernatural society while battling a new kind of monster able to operate in full daylight. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Companions by Katie M. Flynn

This debut novel described as “Station Eleven meets Never Let Me Go” imagines a plague-ridden future where people are able to “live” forever by uploading their consciousness—but some (including the book’s rebellious teenage protagonist) are forced to become virtual slaves by the evil corporation that controls everyone’s destiny. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Cursed: An Anthology edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane

This collection of 20 re-imagined fairy tales and brand-new explorations of curses, magic, and monsters includes entries from Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, M.R. Carey, Tim Lebbon, and io9 co-founder Charlie Jane Anders, among others. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Docile by K.M. Szpara

In this sci-fi parable, a young man agrees to become a “Docile,” owned body and soul by whoever controls his contract, in order to offset the debt of his parents and his future children. His bleak future gets even more complicated when he refuses to take “Dociline,” the dangerous, mind-numbing drug designed to make him a perfect servant. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Fire Never Goes Out by Noelle Stevenson

The comics writer (Lumberjanes) and showrunner of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power presents a memoir in the form of essays and illustrations that explore her personal creative journey. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books
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Forced Perspectives by Tim Powers

Two fugitives on the run from a sinister, soul-stealing tech guru take refuge on the haunted streets of Hollywood. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

The author kicks off a new series, Crescent City, with this tale of a half-human, half-fae who’s determined to avenge her friends after they’re murdered by a demon—a task that’ll take teaming up with an alluring fallen angel to accomplish. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

This historical YA fantasy follows Wolfgang Mozart and his sister Nannerl through 18th century Europe as they begin to realize their musical brilliance. But while he achieves fame, she’s expected to get married and give up her dreams of composing—until a magical stranger with murky intentions offers to help change her fate. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Otaku by Chris Kluwe

In a dystopian future version of Miami, where skyscrapers fill the flooded landscape, a woman escapes her grim reality by dominating a virtual reality game—until she learns of a conspiracy that will cause her online notoriety and the real world to become dangerously intertwined. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

A Pale Light in the Black by K.B. Wagers

A new sci-fi military series begins by introducing the captain and crew of Zuma’s Ghost, a ship in the Near-Earth Orbital Guard, a space patrol where routine rescue missions can quickly lead to deadly danger. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Re-Coil by J.T. Nicholas

In a world where death just means being re-uploaded into a new body, a man who’s murdered—and then very nearly loses his back-up body to an assassin—must unravel the mystery of who’s pursuing him, and why. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte

A determined teenager living in a waterlogged world tries to raise the funds for an expensive procedure that’ll temporarily restore her sister’s life—long enough, she hopes, to find out what happened to their parents. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey

Six teens united by their secret magical powers must gather all their strength to try and right a fatal wrong—a task that brings terrible consequences of its own. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer

An Irish teen’s coming-of-age struggles become far more complicated when her dreams of becoming a full-fledged witch are imperiled first by a rival coven, then by the sudden appearance of an infamous serial killer in her small town. (March 3)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Cries From the Lost Island by Kathleen O’Neal Gear

The author—a real-life historian and archaeologist—crafts a fantasy about a teenage outcast who teams up with his biker buddy and a famed Egyptologist to investigate a supernaturally motivated murder in their midst. (March 10)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Deep by Alma Katsu

This supernatural tale begins aboard the Titanic, then picks up years later as one of the survivors of the sinking starts to suspect dark forces may have been involved in the tragedy. (March 10)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

A Phoenix Must First Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope edited by Patrice Caldwell

This Octavia Butler-inspired collection gathers sci-fi and fantasy stories celebrating black women and gender nonconforming people, with authors including Elizabeth Acevedo, Justina Ireland, Rebecca Roanhorse, and more. (March 10)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Sixteenth Watch by Myke Cole

The Coast Guard—specifically the space division—is on the front lines as a war begins to brew on the moon, and newly appointed Captain Jane Oliver, who’d really rather be easing into her hard-earned retirement, finds herself on the peacekeeping hot seat. (March 10)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Servant of the Crown by Duncan M. Hamilton

The Dragonslayer Trilogy concludes as a king nears death, a young mage finally masters her powers, and a former dragonslayer must decide his future path. (March 10)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Genesis by Layton Green

After a Ph.D. student realizes the visions she’s had her whole life are mirrored in drawings made by her mentor, a physicist who’s recently been murdered, she sets out to unravel a mystery involving his death and her own long-missing mother, following clues that take her to cultural sites scattered across the globe. (March 13)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Immortal Conquistador by Carrie Vaughn

This origin story explores the earlier years of Ricardo de Avila, also known as Rick the vampire, a fan-beloved character from the author’s Kitty Norville werewolf series. (March 13)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Hearts of Oak by Eddie Robson

As this science fiction adventure explains in its official description, “it’s about town planning, it’s about cats, and it’s about the nature of reality.” (March 14)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Crush the King by Jennifer Estep

The Crown of Shards series continues as Queen Everleigh Blair of Bellona, now better-known as Evie the magic-smashing gladiator, faces her enemies head-on during a sports tournament that brings kingdoms together from around the globe. (March 17)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

In this contemporary fairy tale, a caseworker toiling in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, along with a protective orphanage master, must decide the fate of six magical children who may or may not be about to spark the apocalypse. (March 17)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Made to Order: Robots and Revolution edited by Jonathan Strahan

Marking the 100th anniversary of when the word “robot” was coined, this anthology collects robot-centric stories by Peter F. Hamilton, Ken Liu, Tochi Onyebuchi, Alastair Reynolds, io9 co-founder Annalee Newitz, and more. (March 17)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

A Bond Undone by Jin Yong, translated by Gigi Chang

The epic Legends of Condor Heroes series continues as Guo Jing tries to outrun his past while deciding whether his loyalty lies with his heart or his family, and prince Yang Kang faces his own tough choice, struggling with giving up the luxurious life he’s always known so that he can avenge his true parents. (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

A Broken Queen by Sarah Kozloff

The Nine Realms epic fantasy series continues with this third installment, as Cerulia takes a step back from battle to heal physically and mentally from her ordeal so far. Will her newfound understanding of peace and acceptance interfere with her quest to re-take her throne? (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

The record-setting Hugo winner returns with a new novel about five New Yorkers who must join together to protect their city from a destructive ancient evil. (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

A lonely young royal who’s just been married off to the emperor forms an unlikely friendship with a handmaiden and then sets out to take down her enemies by any means necessary. (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Enter the Aardvark by Jessica Anthony

What harm can a taxidermied aardvark do? For the first-term Republican congressman in this satirical ghost story, it has the potential to sideline a political career—especially when the story of the stuffed animal’s past, and the connection it unlocks between the politician and two men in Victorian England, threatens to unsettle a tightly-held secret. (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Calling all Welcome to Night Vale fans: This new tale set within the world of the hit podcast uses flashbacks and contemporary interludes to explore the true identity and colorful life of the eerie title character. (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

The author of Station Eleven returns with this haunting tale about a Ponzi scheme and a seemingly unrelated disappearance at sea. (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Last Human by Zack Jordan

The last surviving human conceals her true identity, knowing that all the alien species she interacts with on a daily basis believe humankind was wiped out generations prior after being deemed too dangerous. And she believes it, too—until she’s drawn into a madcap intergalactic search for the long-hidden truth. (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Last Odyssey by James Rollins

When a medieval ship discovered frozen in ice reveals an strange instrument capable of opening a gateway to hell, the covert Sigma Force must cross the boundary in order to prevent modern-day warlords from taking control of its terrifying powers. (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Poet King by Ilana C. Myer

The author’s Harp and Ring Sequence series continues as former Court Poet Lin Amaristoth hurries to prevent the coronation of a well-armed new ruler who’s declared himself the “Poet King”—and whose rise to power ties into a dark and dangerous prophecy. (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Return by Rachel Harrison

When a woman returns two years after her mysterious disappearance with no memory of where she’s been, her best friend soon realizes she’s not exactly who (or even what) she says she is. (March 24)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Alien Secrets by Ian Douglas

The Solar Warden military sci-fi series begins as a Navy SEAL learns the truth about the aliens who nearly helped the Nazis win World War II—as well as the other aliens who’ve been working with the good guys since a certain close encounter back in 1947. (March 31)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Anthropocene Rag by Alex Irvine

This tale—intriguingly described as a “nanotech Western”—imagines a U.S. of the future where monsters and AI roam the wild landscape, trying to understand their origins by studying the myths and legends that humans left behind. (March 31)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

The Shadow of the Fox series continues along with the battle over who will control the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. Shapeshifter Yumeko is determined to stop a demon from using the scroll to summon a dragon—but even an assist from an assassin, who’s agreed to work with the devil that’s possessing his body, might not be enough to win this crowded fight. (March 31)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Providence by Max Barry

A four-person crew aboard a giant, mostly automated warship designed to protect humankind from a new alien threat keeps Earth informed through social media. But what will happen when they suddenly lose touch with home in dangerously deep space? (March 31)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Ruthless by Sarah Tarkoff

The dystopian Eye of the Beholder series—about a world where true believers are rewarded with beauty, and sinners face ugliness or death—comes to an end as rebellion leader Grace Luther sets out to expose the awful lies behind her community’s strict faith once and for all. (March 31)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

When a boy falls into shark-infested waters, everyone’s astonished when the sharks gently return him to safety instead of tearing him to shreds. But what first seemed like a miracle soon begins to drive his family apart—until a dangerous supernatural event pulls them back together. (March 31)

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Illustration for article titled Spring Is Almost Here, and March Is Overflowing With New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

Four magical sisters who were separated at 13 reunite just before their 18th birthday, knowing that they face a dangerous battle with their demonic father and, unless they can figure out a way to change their fates, a terrible choice: either turn dark and join him, or die. (March 31)

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