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28 New Scifi and Fantasy Books to Add to Your Shelves in May

Cheryl Eddy May 06, 2018. 21 comments

May is here, and the month brings tons of new science fiction and fantasy books for your reading pleasure, including tales of kingdoms in turmoil, aliens battling AI in outer space, alt-history fantasies—and a new novel by some guy named Stephen King.

Bandwidth by Eliot Peper

In this near-future techno-thriller, a young political lobbyist realizes there are dangerous forces working to control the digital feed that the entire world relies upon for news updates (and everything else). It’s up to him to prevent an upcoming shadow war from causing certain devastation—but doing so may cost him the ultimate price. (May 1)

Black Helicopters by Caitlin R. Kiernan

This is the expanded, completed version of the author’s World Fantasy Award-nominated Lovecraftian novella. It’s about a secret agent tasked with investigating strange happenings around New England that seem to be foreshadowing a horrific, chaotic invisible war. (May 1)

The Glory of the Empress by Sean Danker

Amid a raging interstellar war, a group of soldiers develops a new weapon they hope will turn the tide in their side’s favor—not realizing their test runs in a far-off pocket of the galaxy will have unexpectedly towering consequences. (May 1)

Medusa Uploaded by Emily Devenport

After she’s shoved out of an airlock and miraculously survives, a rebellious “worm” takes advantage of being presumed dead to prowl the generation starship she’s on, assassinating the powerful to try and even the stakes for everyone else. (May 1)

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuagny

This debut historical fantasy is inspired by 20th century China; it’s about a war orphan who shocks everyone when she gain acceptance to the country’s most elite military academy—and shocks herself when she realizes she has a powerful talent for magic. (May 1)

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

The complicated lives of five very different characters (a princess, a soldier, a hunter, a thief, and a servant) intertwine in a magical land on the brink of war in this first installment in a new fantasy series. (May 1)

Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

In a time of war, an outcast uses her magical gifts to heal an enemy spy, and the unlikely bond between them grows as they race to prevent an ancient evil from taking control of both their nations. (May 1)

Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

The cyborg security agent nicknamed “Murderbot” returns in the sequel to the author’s All Systems Red. This time, it’s hellbent on finding out exactly why it has that ominous nickname and travels to the scene of an infamous massacre to poke into its cloudy, troubled past. (May 8)

Compulsory Games by Robert Aickman, edited by Victoria Nelson

A collection of supernatural tales from the late World Fantasy Award-winning author of “weird stories.” (May 8)

King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist

The first book in a new saga follows two young men—one a highly skilled swordsmith; the other an assassin and spy who’s also secretly the heir to a stolen throne—whose paths converge as they become drawn into an ongoing war and the greater fight to save their world. (May 8)

What Should Be Wild by Laura Fine

A young woman, the latest in her family to be cursed with the power to kill or resurrect anything she touches, spends her entire life hidden deep inside a dark forest—until her father goes missing, and she ventures into the outside world for the first time to search for him. (May 8)

The World of All Souls by Deborah Harkness

Fans of Harness’ All Souls series (A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life) won’t want to miss this illustrated guide to her fantasy trilogy; it includes special features like character bios, maps, and even recipes. (May 8)

Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly

The author’s follow-up to the Nebula-nominated fantasy thriller Amberlough returns to the intrigue-filled 1930s to follow three characters living in a politically unstable tropical country: a diplomat, a filmmaker, and a stripper-turned-revolutionary. (May 15)

Ascendant by Jack Campbell

The Genesis Fleet military scifi series continues as a former fleet officer and a former Marine band together to fight off attacks on their newly-colonized planet—and find it’s frustratingly hard to hold onto freedom when you have limited resources and a steady stream of aggressors. (May 15)

Buying Time by E.M. Brown

A man falls asleep one night in 2017, but wakes up and realizes it’s nine months earlier than it was the day before. The trend continues the next day, when he wakes up three years earlier, and on and on until he eventually seems to completely disappear. Where (or when) did he go? (May 15)

By Fire Above by Robyn Bennis

The second entry in the author’s Signal Airship fantasy adventure series follows an airship captain who must battle enemy forces and bureaucracy when her hometown comes under attack. (May 15)

In the Region of the Summer Stars by Stephen Lawhead

In this new Celtic-inspired fantasy, the king’s oldest son is cast out of his tribe, so he undertakes a perilous journey to clear his name—but the magic secret he discovers may help him save his imperiled land instead. (May 15)

The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer

In ancient Scotland, two royal brothers who were raised separately must join forces to save their family from a magical curse that threatens to kill their father and tear his kingdom apart. (May 15)

The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst

The author begins the final entry in her Queens of Renthia trilogy in a time of long-overdue peace—but that doesn’t last long when one queen tasks evil nature spirits with kidnapping another queen’s children, unleashing war and chaos back into the forest. (May 15)

The Soldier by Neal Asher

The author returns to his Polity worlds for this new military saga, as the discovery of a strange disc teeming with living technology threatens both humanity and their crab-like alien rivals. To ensure the safety of both civilizations, they task an android-human hybrid (and her mysterious alien associate) with protecting the mysterious disc from sinister interlopers. (May 15)

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

The Red Queen series concludes as superpowered heroine Mare Barrow overcomes the ultimate betrayal as she plots to overthrow the Silver kingdoms once and for all. (May 15)

Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan

The Gods of Blood and Powder epic fantasy series continues with this second entry, which picks up amid war-torn turmoil for both soldiers (and those who would raise their own armies with the help of some ancient magic) and refugees (and those who are desperately trying to help them). (May 15)

American Hippo by Sarah Gailey

This compilation brings Gailey’s acclaimed 2017 novellas River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow—alt-history tales in which wild hippos run amok in what used to be the Mississippi River region—together into one volume, along with a brand-new short story. (May 22)

84K by Claire North

A dystopian tale set in a world where crimes can be atoned for with specific dollar amounts—a set-up that doesn’t really bother the main character, an assessor at the Criminal Audit Office, until he’s tasked with a murder case involving someone who was once very dear to him. (May 22)

The Outsider by Stephen King

The powerhouse author’s latest begins with a murdered child, and eyewitnesses and forensic evidence identify a local baseball coach as the killer. But the man has a rock-solid alibi, and an impossible question emerges: Could he have been in two places at once? (May 22)

The Testament of Loki by Joanne M. Harris

Ragnarok has come and gone, but Loki’s not one to stay trapped in purgatory forever. In this sequel to The Gospel of Loki, the trickster makes his way to Earth, via the mind of a teenage girl who’s none too happy to find him lurking in her brain... or to realize all of her friends (and a dog) are also being taken over by Norse god refugees. (May 22)

Lifelike by Jay Kristoff

A teenage girl with a talent for building robots (and some frightening superpowers, as well as a disturbing past she’s blocked from fully remembering) finds herself in deep trouble with some greedy gangsters just as she meets a handsome android that makes her question everything about her life. (May 29)

The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals by Aaron Mahnke

The world of the popular podcast/TV series/book series expands even further with this illustrated guide to “the most despicable people ever to walk the earth,” including Chicago World’s Fair serial killer H.H. Holmes and the Scottish cabinetmaker who inspired Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (May 29)

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