The many worlds of sci-fi have something for everyone: from galaxy-spanning space opera to achingly realistic near-future dystopias, from alien circuses on pleasure moons to paintings that open doors to alternate universes, from scrappy space rebels bringing down empires to noir detectives cracking cases in glittering underwater cities. Feast your imagination on some of this year's Adult Science Fiction debuts!
DEEP DIVE by Ron Walters
Out now from Angry Robot
Peter is a game developer who's in dire need of a win to save his struggling company. But when he beta-tests a new VR headset, he finds himself in a world similar to his own where his family no longer exists, and the lines between virtual and real begin to blur.
Check it out if you love: video games, emotional family themes, fast-paced tech thrillers in the vein of Blake Crouch
BLUEBIRD by Ciel Pierlot
Out now from Angry Robot
Rig is a maverick thief and gunslinging rebel who's turned her back on the galaxy's powerful warring factions. But when Rig's former faction demands that she return something she stole or else they’ll kill her sister, Rig sets off on a cross-galaxy journey to save her sister's life (and maybe bring down the whole faction system in the process!)
Check it out if you love: Scrappy space rebels with a cause, heart-pounding action scenes, witty & snarky MCs
THE CIRCUS INFINITE by Khan Wong
Out now from Angry Robot
Jes, a misfit with gravity powers, joins a circus to hide from those who want to study and exploit his abilities. When Jes becomes unwittingly embroiled with a crime boss on a notorious pleasure moon, it's up to him and his new friends from the circus to take the mobster down.
Check it out of you love: vivid worldbuilding, incredibly cool aliens, soft found family themes set against a backdrop of espionage & peril
THE BLOOD TRIALS by N.E. Davenport
Out now from Harper Voyager (Book 1 in a duology)
Ikenna, a young Black woman in a racist and misogynistic society, must survive a series of lethal, bloody trials and become an elite warrior if she wants to uncover the truth about who killed her grandfather. A gritty, emotional blend of murder mystery, historical fantasy and science fiction.
Check it out if you love: fiercely determined MCs, worldbuilding that blends magic and technology, themes of vengeance & justice in the vein of Red Rising
UNDER FORTUNATE STARS by Ren Hutchings
Out now from Solaris
Smuggler Jereth Keeven's junk freighter breaks down in a strange rift in deep space, encountering a vessel that claims to be from 152 years in the future. Jereth is shocked to learn that the people on board believe his crew are the historical heroes who ended the war, and that more than the fate of their two ships may be in play.
Check it out if you love: accidental time travel, history nerds to the rescue, space opera with Star Trek: TNG vibes
MAI TAIS FOR THE LOST by Mia V. Moss
Out now from Underland Press (Novella)
Marrow Nightingale is the only private investigator in Electric Blue Moon, an undersea city full of wealthy and powerful elites, where the party doesn't stop just because the world above is on fire. But the rich playboy who just turned up dead is Marrow's adoptive sibling, and the stakes have never been higher if Marrow can't crack this case.
Check it out if you love: voicey detective protagonists, noir-inspired sci-fi with climate themes, deliciously fascinating worldbuilding
WAKE OF WAR by Zac Topping
Coming July 19th from Forge Books
The United States of America is a crumbling republic where a rebellion has caught fire. When forces clash in Salt Lake City, alliances will be shattered, resolve will be tested, and when the dust clears nobody will be able to lie to themselves, or be lied to, again.
Check it out if you love: near-future speculative settings, bitingly realistic military combat, deep dual POVs on opposing sides of a conflict
THE SLEEPLESS by Victor Manibo
Coming August 2nd from Erewhon
Journalist Jamie Vega is one of the Sleepless: people who no longer need to sleep. When his boss dies under suspicious circumstances and Jamie investigates, his own secrets are threatened, and he must tangle with extremist organizations and powerful corporate interests in a bid to uncover a truth about Sleeplessness that imperils all of humanity.
Check it out if you love: page-turning mysteries with a unique premise, bio-hacking thrillers, sharp critiques of capitalism
THE REGISTRATION by Madison Lawson
Coming September 27th from CamCat Books
In a world where it's legal to commit one murder in your lifetime so long as you Register the victim and accomplish the kill within fourteen days, Lynell Mize is shocked to learn a stranger has Registered to kill her. Desperate to survive the next two weeks, she must find out who wants her dead and why.
Check it out if you love: near-future dystopian settings in the vein of The Purge, pacey thrillers, stories that examine the concepts of 'right and wrong'
SELF-PORTRAIT WITH NOTHING by Aimee Pokwatka
Coming October 18th from Tordotcom
Abandoned as an infant, Pepper Rafferty has secretly discovered that her birth mother is Ula Frost, a reclusive painter famous for claiming her portraits summon their subjects' doppelgangers from parallel universes. Researching these rumors, Pepper can't help but wonder what her life might have been like in these other universes.
Check it out if you love: literary speculative fiction, academic protagonists, contemplating the possibilities of alternate universes
THE STARS IN THEIR EYES by Kristy Gardner
Coming October 18th from City Owl Press
Calay and Tess’s love has kept them alive four years after the aliens decimated Earth. But when Tess goes missing, Calay is determined to risk it all to reunite with Tess: alien executioners, a mysterious man whom she can’t quite put her finger on, the rise of a sinister cult, and a shocking family secret.
Check it out if you love: horror-leaning sci-fi, The Walking Dead, fiercely determined MCs fighting to the ends of the earth for love
List created & posted to the blog by Ren Hutchings