Most anticipated SFF & horror of 2024

It’s an increasingly dark world out there, with horror’s continuing ascendance and gloomy spins on seemingly every subgenre: Katherine Arden explores the terror of the trenches, Stephen Graham Jones brings his Indian Lake trilogy to a grand (Guignol) finale and Leigh Bardugo sets up shop in the Spanish Inquisition. But glimmers of hopepunk remain, especially in the return of Catherynne M. Valente.
Available 1/23/2024

The author of the acclaimed Masquerade fantasy series, which follows a woman who infiltrates a powerful empire in order to destroy it from the inside, Seth Dickinson is so devoted to intricate world building that some have labeled his work “hard fantasy” (a la hard science fiction, a subgenre replete with details of futuristic technology). So it’s hardly surprising that Dickinson will be making the leap to sci-fi this year with Exordia, an absolutely wild tale of first contact. 

Available 1/30/2024

After a cliffhanger that left readers in utter shambles at the end of House of Sky and Breath, Sarah J. Maas’ return to Crescent City is eagerly awaited even by her towering standards. Fans of her other fantasy series know that Maas often waits to reveal the full extent of the story she’s telling until the second or third book in a series; whatever’s revealed in House of Flame and Shadow could blow the preceding book’s cliffhanger out of the water.

Available 2/13/2024

The author of the marvelous Winterlight trilogy makes her grand return to historical fantasy with this haunting tale set during World War I. Former nurse Laura Iven’s parents recently died in an accident, and her brother, Freddie, was declared missing in the trenches. But what actually happened to Freddie is far stranger, involving a mysterious man who can make pain and trauma disappear . . .

Available 3/26/2024

The third and final installment in Stephen Graham Jones’ acclaimed horror trilogy, The Angel of Indian Lake will find horror aficionado and final girl extraordinaire Jade Daniels returning home to the very unlucky town of Proofrock, Idaho. Jade’s spent the four years since the conclusion of Don’t Fear the Reaper incarcerated, and after she’s released, it’s time for a showdown with the evils that lurk within her hometown.

Available 4/09/2024

In a certain way, Leigh Bardugo is the fantasy genre’s Taylor Swift—hear us out. Bardugo began with a series of works that were highly appreciated and loved within their genre (her young adult trilogy Shadow and Bone), then a critically acclaimed crossover darling (the Six of Crows duology) before fully moving into a new genre and unquestionably succeeding within it (the very adult fantasy that is Ninth House). Every time you think she can’t get bigger, she somehow does. A historical fantasy set during the Spanish Inquisition, The Familiar could bring Bardugo’s unforgettable characters and spellbinding prose to an even larger audience.

Available 4/09/2024

After her first sci-fi horror novel, Dead Silence, scared the absolute bejesus out of readers, S.A. Barnes is back for another round of terror where no one can hear you scream. Ghost Station follows psychologist Dr. Ophelia Bray, who is an expert in ERS, a condition that drives interstellar explorers insane. As you would expect, after Ophelia is assigned to a small crew tasked with exploring an ancient, mysterious planet, it very much seems like she is about to get some real-world experience with her area of study.

Available 4/09/2024

Hannah Whitten won a fan base with her fantasy Wilderwood duology, and last year’s The Foxglove King proved her bona fides with a tale that was darker and more ambitious than her first two novels. Its sequel, The Hemlock Queen, finds Bastian and Lore seemingly on top and on the verge of changing the city of Dellaire for the better, but in the time-honored tradition of second installments everywhere, things are not only about to take a turn for the worse, but they’re also about to get much more complicated.

Available 4/23/2024

Liz Kerin’s Night’s Edge was the best new spin on the vampire novel in ages, and First Light will continue the story of Mia, who’s now on the hunt to find the man that turned her mother into one of the undead.

Available 4/23/2024

The author of several acclaimed and buzzy novellas, P. Djèlí Clark released his first full-length novel for adults in 2021 and his first middle-grade novel in 2022. The Dead Cat Tail Assassins, a fantasy adventure following a resurrected assassin haunted by memories of her past life, sounds like an absolute blast and could be the big swing that turns Clark into a household name.

Available 5/07/2024

One of the books that kick-started the hopepunk ethos in sci-fi, Catherynne M. Valente’s Space Opera was a glittering, glam-rock tale of humanity fighting for its survival among the stars—via a Eurovision-esque galactic song competition. Earth must defend its title in the long-awaited sequel, Space Oddity, which promises more of Valente’s warm-hearted optimism and irrepressible sense of humor.

Available 6/04/2024

One of the finest purveyors of hard sci-fi writing today, Adrian Tchaikovsky writes on enormous, galaxy-spanning canvases, but with a sense of detail that extends down to the tiniest cog. With his uncanny ability to make heady concepts feel achingly human, there is perhaps no one better suited to write about a robot uprising and make readers root against their own species.

Available 6/11/2024

Gender-based dystopias have proved to be, ahem, very controversial in recent years, not to mention downright disappointing. But then there is Gretchen Felker-Martin’s Manhunt, shining like a blood-covered beacon. The odyssey of two trans women trying to survive in a world where a plague has turned anyone with high levels of testosterone into heinous monsters, Manhunt zeroed in on the people and problems lesser dystopias ignore. Her sophomore novel, Cuckoo, will demand a similarly tricky balance of genre thrills and sensitive character work. Set at a conversion camp, Cuckoo follows a group of former campers who reunite to face down the evil entity that they survived as teenagers.

Available 7/23/2024

Feminist Greek mythology retellings have been in vogue for a while now, and Jennifer Saint’s novels are among the best of the best (with the very top of Mount Olympus reserved for Madeline Miller, of course). Her previous three books have focused on heroines (Ariadne and Atalanta) and avengers (Elektra), but her next work will be the first to star an outright villainous figure: Hera, Zeus’ jealous and vindictive wife. The goddess of marriage, Hera is a figure that practically begs for a more sympathetic reappraisal given our modern perspective on Zeus’ unfaithfulness and cruelty.

Available 8/20/2024

Whether she’s writing horror (The Hollow Places, A House With Good Bones) or fairy tale-inspired fantasy (Nettle & Bone), T. Kingfisher’s work is a pitch-perfect blend of the hopeful and the grim, the macabre and the magical. The worlds she creates are often bleak, but bright spots can always be found in her characters’ irrepressible humor and love for one another. Her next novel will be inspired by the Brothers Grimm’s “The Goose Girl,” and if it’s anything like her marvelous novella Thornhedge, which flipped the tale of Sleeping Beauty on its head, A Sorceress Comes to Call will be full of nasty surprises and bursts of hope alike.

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Recent science fiction & fantasy reviews

Book jacket image for Exordia by Seth Dickinson

Exordia

Seth Dickinson’s Exordia is an energetic, suspenseful melange of alien invasion and military action.

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Book jacket image for The Parliament by Aimee Pokwatka

The Parliament

Far more than simply “‘The Birds,’ but with owls,” The Parliament is the kind of captivating novel that comes along all too rarely.

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